A contingent of Congressional Progressive Democrats is proposing a new federal gun control idea: mandatory liability insurance for gun owners. The Firearm Risk Protection Act, pushed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney and eight co-sponsors, follows efforts at the state level to create the controversial new kind of insurance for gun owners.
The bill defines “qualified liability insurance” as a policy that covers the “purchaser specifically for losses resulting from use of the firearm while it is owned by the purchaser.” Buyers would have to obtain insurance from a company licensed or authorized by a state insurance regulatory authority.
“For too long, gun victims and society at large have borne the brunt of the costs of gun violence,” Maloney said in a written statement. “My bill would change that by shifting some of that cost back onto those who own the weapons.”
The bill 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. “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 bill text reads.
According to Second Amendment Patriots research, six states — California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania — have all introduced gun liability insurance legislation over the past few months. None has produced any results. In Illinois, for example, the House rejected a measure 34-74 that would require people carrying concealed weapons to also carry $1 million in liability insurance. Chicago Democrat Kenneth Dunkin was behind the defeated bill. He said an insurance policy would cost between $500 to $2,000, but Illinois Republicans successfully argued the costs were too high for citizens exercising their constitutional right to carry a gun, and the bill was defeated.
The reason such a bill has not passed in the states is simple – it primarily serves to reduce the constitutionally protected rights of law-abiding citizens while having little or no effect on violent crime. It is deeply unfortunate that Progressive Democrats continue to use the tragedy at Newtown as a backdrop for pushing legislation that would have done nothing to prevent that horrible crime. It is time to remind your congressional representatives we are still watching them!