San Jose To Fine Gun Owners

By: George William

On Tuesday, the San Jose City council voted to draft legislation that would make gun owners pay some sort of insurance or annual fee that would then subsidize expenses incurred in firearm related incidents.

“The Second Amendment certainly protects the right of every citizen to own a gun,” Mayor Sam Liccardo told reporters. “It does not mandate that taxpayers subsidize that right.”

Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun-rights organization said that an insurance mandate and fees violate the second amendment and that the fee’s themselves would, “put lawful access to firearms out of reach of poor and underprivileged individuals in high-crime neighborhoods.”

“I have the right to swing my arm freely but I should pay if it hits my neighbor in the face.” Stanford Law Professor John Donohue said about situation.

UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler, “there are some potential problems with requiring insurance for the exercise of a constitutional right, and I’d guess the Supreme Court would ultimately be hostile to this measure.”

Because San Jose doesn’t have a gun registry or other means of tracking firearm ownership, they can’t inform owners directly. Gun owner’s are instead expected to learn of the change themselves. If they don’t make these changes, regardless if they know or not, if an officer comes across an uninsured firearm then the officer is authorized to take it.

UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler, “there are some potential problems with requiring insurance for the exercise of a constitutional right, and I’d guess the Supreme Court would ultimately be hostile to this measure.”

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