Lawmakers from four states are considering new legislation that could put a substantial new financial burden on gun owners. Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York, and New Hampshire are all facing potential changes to the law that would require all gun owners to take out an insurance policy on every firearm. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to ten thousand dollars.
Hawaii State Senator Josh Green (D) Kona, Ka‘u told Hawaii News, “Now, I don’t want to take people’s guns away from them but I want people to take full responsibility.” Green went on to say, “They have to pay insurance so that if they’re in a collision and they hurt someone else who’s an innocent bystander, it’s covered. Just like with guns, if a gun falls into the wrong hands or if there’s an accident, just an accident, it makes a lot of sense to me that we have that extra level of responsibility.”
State Representative Katherine Rodgers (D), has brought a bill to the House Floor in New Hampshire, requiring that any one possessing, buying or selling a firearm must carry insurance. Representative Rodgers introduced H 1368 in January 2016 and as is the case in Hawaii, non-compliance carries stiff fines up to ten thousand dollar. Rodger was quoted according to the Concord Monitor as saying, “I don’t want to ban guns. I want people to have safe ownership of guns. Law-abiding gun owners are an important part of our population.”
New York lawmakers introduced a bill in 2015 that mandates a minimum of a $250,000 insurance liability for gun owners. Assistant Speaker, Felix W. Ortiz (D), of Brooklyn is at the heart of this legislation in New York. Ortiz proposed similar legislation in 2013 with no avail, and as it pertains to the most recent bill, he wanted the insurance policies to be one million minimum, but passed successfully with the lower insurance liability.
Mark Ridley, the Los Angeles County Supervisor, is touting insurance liabilities as a method of curbing fatality rates in the Los Angeles Metro area. Much like Hawaii, Ridley makes the connection of responsible gun ownership with owning and operating a car. Supervisor Ridley was quoted as saying, “If you have a car, it has to be insured. It puts more of responsibility on the owner.”
Second-amendment advocates voice their concerns against these laws, claiming that insurance mandates just add to the ever increasing push to obstruct the capability to exercise their second amendment rights, as afforded the American people by the Bill of Rights. Do you think requiring gun owners to purchase liability insurance is smart or just another underhanded gun grab from the left?