New state bill would require gun owners to have insurance – CBS San Francisco
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/ CBS San Francisco
SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/BCN) – Two state senators announced a new bill Thursday that would require gun owners to obtain liability insurance for the negligent or accidental use of their firearms.
If passed, California becomes the first state in the nation to adopt such legislation.
The bill, SB 8, comes from State Senators Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, and Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, who decided to propose the legislation as the state reels from three mass shootings within days of each other, and five total for the month of January. In total, 27 people have been killed and another 20 injured, making January the deadliest month for mass shootings in California in at least a decade, according to the legislators.
“Victims of gun violence and their families suffer severe harm — economic, mental and physical — but have little to no recourse to be compensated for that harm. Insurance is the method our society uses to compensate those harmed by, for example, car accidents, medical malpractice, or faulty consumer products. Requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance puts the burden where it should be — on the gun owner,” said Sen. Skinner.
Under SB 8, gun insurance in the state would be similar to car insurance, making gun owners civilly liable for property damage, injury, or death resulting from the use of their firearms. Gun owners would be required to have plans that cover losses or damages resulting from negligent or accidental use of their firearm, and they’ll have to keep proof of their insurance with their firearm, and produce it when asked by a peace officer during the course of a lawful detainment.
“Gun violence costs our country over $280 billion a year. SB 8 will ensure that gun owners — not victims and their families — shoulder their fair share of that burden,” Senator Skinner added.
The language of SB 8 will be modeled after the City of San Jose’s gun insurance law, the first of its kind in the country.
CALIFORNIA MASS SHOOTINGS
First published on January 26, 2023 / 11:52 AM
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