The San Jose, CA, city council voted this week to adopt a first-in-the-country ordinance that requires gun owners to pay a small fee and have liability insurance on them, measures aimed at lowering the risk of gun accidents by incentivizing safer behavior of those that own guns.
The new law was overseen by the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, who has cited a study that claimed the residents of San Jose collectively spent around $442 million each year because of gun violence that has taken place throughout the city.
Under the new law, gun owners will be required to keep proof of insurance with their gun at all times. They would also be required to be able to provide any documentation to police officers when and if it is requested.
Those who will not comply with the new law could be hit with a fine or even have their guns confiscated.
The yearly fee would be calculated per family with a gun that’s in the home and would come out to $25 every year plus some additional administrative fees that are associated with processing. The money would be invested in social programs including those that are related to suicide prevention, mental health, and domestic violence prevention.
Gun rights advocates say they will challenge the constitutionality of the new law in the courts.
“Any abridgment of a constitutional right, any law that chips away our rights, no matter how small it is, is the start of the downfall of the Constitution of America and what our rights as Americans really mean,” says Sam Paredes, the exec director of the Gun Owners of America.
The Firearms Policy Coalition has also released a statement arguing against this new law.
“If San Jose were to adopt Mayor Liccardo’s insane and unconstitutional gun control law, we will not hesitate to challenge these new policies in federal courts and take all possible actions necessary to block their enforcement,” said the organization.
Supporters of the new law stated that the fees will not be taken until the legal challenges have been resolved in the courts.