Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Firearms Risk Protection Act, a new piece of legislation that would slap gun owners with a $10,000 fine for failing to purchase liability insurance.
Under this legislation, gun owners would need to purchase insurance from a state-authorized insurance provider. The insurance would need to cover the owner of the firearm for any injuries or damages resulting from the use of that firearm.
Military, law enforcement and government employees would be exempt from needing to purchase the insurance, and gun owners who have their firearms stolen would not be responsible for damages.
The bill already has a few legislators in its corner. Reps Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jim Moran (D-VA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA) and several other Democrats are all co-sponsors of the bill.
Maloney and her backers argue that the bill is simply a matter of shifting responsibility: “For too long, gun victims and society at large have borne the brunt of the costs of gun violence. My bill would change that by shifting some of that cost back onto those who own the weapons.”
Not surprisingly, gun rights advocates oppose the bill. “Ridiculous on its face, as it presumes law-abiding gun owners are guilty for merely exercising a fundamental, constitutional right,” said NRA Executive Director Chris Cos.
Likewise, Dave Jolly of Godfather Politics asked, “So what happens if someone breaks into your house, and they have a weapon and threaten you or a member of your family, and you shoot them in self-defense? Are you still going to be held liable and your insurance ends paying for the criminals medical or funeral expenses since you are the owner of the gun?”
It’s a sound question, one that brings into focus the issues at the core of the new legislation. Maloney’s proposal is seemingly reasonable because it holds gun owners responsible for their actions.
On the other side of the coin, though, the bill would clearly punish gun owners by raising the cost of gun ownership, not to mention the fact that gun owners could see their insurance costs go up after they defend their homes in legitimate cases of self-defense.
Source: Godfather Politics