Liberal Democrats in Congress are proposing mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, and a hefty fine for those who do not comply. The legislation was introduced by New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney last month, who emphasized that it is “the first bill to require liability insurance of gun buyers nationwide.”
Entitled the Firearm Risk Protection Act, the measure would require gun owners to have “a qualified liability insurance policy” before purchasing a firearm. According to the Daily Caller, "It also calls for the federal government to impose a fine as much as $10,000 if a gun owner doesn’t have insurance on a firearm purchased after the bill goes into effect."
The relevant bill text reads, “It shall be unlawful for a person who owns a firearm purchased on or after the effective date of this subsection not to be covered by a qualified liability insurance policy." The text notes that “qualified liability insurance” is a policy that covers the “purchaser specifically for losses resulting from use of the firearm while it is owned by the purchaser.” Buyers would be required to obtain insurance from a company licensed by a state insurance regulatory authority.
The only exceptions to the insurance requirement in order to purchase a weapon would be for law enforcement personnel, members of the military, and employees of government agencies.
As Maloney introduced her legislation, she stated, “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.”
Other Democratic representatives co-sponsoring the bill include Keith Ellison (Minn.), Michael Capuano (Mass.), Jim Moran (Va.), Bobby Rush (Ill.), Nikki Tsongas (Mass.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.).
Maloney argued that the bill is not very different from requiring drivers to have car insurance before they drive, adding,
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