Own a Gun? California Dems want to Require you Buy Liability Insurance

A car can cause lots of damage to property or people when used carelessly.  So can a gun.  In a proposal that in no way hinder’s anyone’s ability to own a gun, California Democrats are proposing new legislation that would require legal gun owners to buy liability insurance so if their weapon hurts or kills someone accidentially, the injured party (or the dead person’s family) can receive insurance benefits.

Read all about it here.

From the story:

Echoing similar legislation introduced in other states, the legislation, still in its infancy, might apply to anyone already owning a gun, or shooters might have to provide proof of insurance before purchasing a weapon. Unsurprisingly, Sam Paredes, of lobby group Gun Owners of California, is against the idea, accusing the Democrats of trying to “price gun owners out of existence.” He also suggested that the idea of having to be insured to own a gun would be unconstitutional.

Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation Tuesday that would require California gun owners to buy liability insurance to cover damages or injuries caused by their weapons.

Similar bills have been introduced in other states after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. They include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York.

“I was moved, like many others, being the father of two young children, by the Sandy Hook incident and looking for constructive ways to manage gun violence here in California as well as the rest of the country,” said Assemblyman Philip Ting of San Francisco, who introduced AB231 along with Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles. “There’s basically a cost that is born by the taxpayers when accidents occur. … I don’t think that taxpayers should be footing those bills.”

Ting equated the idea to requiring vehicle owners to buy auto insurance. Gomez said it would encourage gun owners to take firearms safety classes and keep their guns locked up to get lower insurance rates.

It’s not such a nutty idea.  The National Rifle Association offers its members liability insurance on the organization’s website.

From the site:

All National Rifle Association members in good standing receive $2,500 of ArmsCare protection at no cost to them. To begin receiving this coverage members must activate their No Cost benefits by visiting the Benefits Activation Site.

But is $2,500 enough to cover your valuable firearms and accessories? For many sportsmen, it’s not.

ArmsCare Plus Firearms Insurance provides NRA members with extra protection for their legal firearms and accessories up to $1,000,000 in coverage. Accessories include scopes, rings, mounts, slings and sling swivels, which are attached to the insured firearm.

ArmsCare Plus covers where most homeowners policies fall short. Firearms and accessories are protected against direct physical loss, damage, fire, and theft. Theft from a vehicle is covered when it is the result of breaking and entering a locked vehicle or locked portion of a vehicle.

Only firearms $2,500 or over must be scheduled but serial numbers are not required.


  18 comments for “Own a Gun? California Dems want to Require you Buy Liability Insurance

  1. Francisco "Paco" Barragán
    February 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I am in support of reducing Gun violence by banning assault weapons, banning high capacity magazines, conducting background checks, requiring safety classes (with exceptions for law enforcement and military veterans), and closing the GUN SHOW loophole.
    However, the initiative above seems more like a “Solution” in Search of Problem, that is only meant to benefit the insurance industry without addressing the real issue of the severe consequences from Gun Violence.

  2. February 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I’m not surprised by California’s 2/3 Democrat majority wanting to indirectly tax gun owners.

    I’d be surprised if the Democrats were to require liability insurance for owners of Killing Stimulators a.k.a. Violent Video Games. After all automobile liability insurance is required so why not? A Driver’s License has an age requirement; there should also be an age requirement for the purchase of Killing Stimulators; let’s raise the age to 21 or 91.

    There must be a surcharge for Killing Stimulator liability insurance if the person is also taking Psych Meds.
    I’m just trying to help.
    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/psych-meds-linked-to-90-of-school-shootings/#A5zpGBF63LYjKu6f.99

    Time To Take On the Violent Videogames Lobby

    Violent Video Games Are Mass-Murder Simulators

  3. February 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    The analogy to the NRA’s theft insurance to liability insurance its apples to oranges. So, how many criminals do you think will obtain insurance? I would say the same number that buy their funds from legitimate sources. These laws will not stop violence. They are designed to punish law abiding citizens.

    • February 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

      a lot of people drive a car without insurance. Hit and runs still happen.

      • junior
        February 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm

        What the H-E-double hockey sticks is that supposed to mean Dan?

  4. Carl Overmyer
    February 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This is another expense that only the law abiding will bear and it will have no effect on criminals or those who intend to do bodily harm to others. This can only be described as punitive to those of us who own firearms.

    Your trying to draw similarities to the theft insurance from NRA or ArmsCare Plus and the proposed legislation, requiring liability insurance is so blatantly misleading, that it even worth discussing. I do assume that you know the difference between liability insurance and theft insurance.

    As has been discussed many times here, I have a Right, enumerated in the Bill of Rights, to own and bear arms. The Supreme Court has affirmed that Right and seems to have ruled that it is incorporated under the 14th Amendment to all areas within the jurisdiction of the US. I say seems, because it’s going through the system right now to get a clarification of that point. However it has been affirmed prior, in decisions that were post civil war era, when the questions came up about freed slaves having the same Rights as others.

    Driving your car, as we’re reminded by DMV is a privilege, not a Right. BIG difference!

    Please, if you can, come up with ANY other Right that requires insurance to exercise.

    To Mr. Barragán,
    Please explain to me how you can justify the prohibition of a class of weapons, or accessories (magazines) that has bearing to the application of the Right as it would have a direct and negative effect to the application and suitability, if or when the militia were needed to either protect themselves, their neighbors, or as was in recent history the corrupt govt, like in McMinn Co. TN in 1946.

    To say this has no bearing today is to ignore history.

    • February 8, 2013 at 7:14 am

      Welcome back Carl. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from you. Hope you are doing well.

      • Carl Overmyer
        February 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

        Thank you Chris.
        I am still recovering, but so far, so good.

  5. Francisco "Paco" Barragán
    February 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    @ Carl Overmyer:
    Gun ownership is a constitutional right.
    Free Speech is a constitutional right.

    And as a Supreme Court Justice has said, Free Speech can be regulated or can be deemed impermissible, to protect life or limb, for example when shouting FIRE in a crowded theater is deemed impermissible.

    If you are arguing that citizens should have the same type of Killing Firepower as the government does, then I should think that common sense would dictate that this “right” is shouting to be regulated.
    Otherwise, taking the argument further, it would mean that if the government has Weapons of Mass Destruction or military style firepower then so should the citizens. Not a very safe world, and definitely would be putting more Americans in danger…that is why we need to do our utmost to reduce Gun Violence.

    We have a federal military, and we have a well-regulated militia with our Guard forces (National Guard etc)…so banning assault weapons, banning high capacity magazines, requiring background checks, and closing the Gun Show Loophole, still ensures the faithfulness to a well-regulated militia and to ownership of small arms/rifles.

    • Carl Overmyer
      February 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Surely you know that your “Fire” arguments are unfounded from a legal point of view. They aren’t at all the same issues. One is simple legal ownership, one is a public safety threat that is an action designed to create panic when none exists.

      Your a smart guy, you know the difference in “M” vs “m” just as you know the differences in a semi-automatic and fully automatic rifle. You know what SCOTUS has said, the limits they already have federally and the limits we already have in CA.

      We in CA already have;
      All sales through FFL’s with background checks and a waiting period. There is NO “gun show loophole” in CA since ALL transfers must go through an FFL private party or otherwise.
      A ban on magazines above 10 rounds.
      “Assault rifles” were already banned years ago. Unless your a cop you can’t get one.
      What you can get is a butchered semi-automatic rifle that looks similar and operates in the same mechanical manner, but no quick change magazines, along with a host of other cosmetic restrictions, you also get 10 rounds max.

      None of the laws that are being proposed will stop mass murders, nor will they change criminal behaviors. None! Criminals don’t follow laws…

      They will unduly prevent and restrict the free exercise of an enumerated Right, one that predated the Bill of Rights, by all law abiding firearms owners and it will disadvantage the poor the most. Further, they won’t hold up in federal court and that’s going to cost the taxpayers big money we don’t need to spend.

      This is flat out a denial of Rights issue. It has nothing to do with public safety. It will not make the greater society or most individuals safer.

      The insurance issue specifically would benefit lawyers and insurance companies primarily and only secondarily the very few accident victims. That’s just the way the system works.

      Right now the homeowners policy covers it, this would be an additional rider to that policy and would certainly effect the poorest homeowners and renters the most. Since they may not have the ability to keep absorbing the price increases piled on top of them. They would then become criminals for being poor, not by any action on their part. Or is there any proposal that there be a state fund to help the economically disadvantaged that goes with this?

    • junior
      February 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      The myth of the “gun show loop-hole.”
      All federal firearms licensees are required to conduct a background check for all firearms transactions, even if they sell the firearm at a gun show.

      President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), and scores of others have repeated the mantra that approximately 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted through private sales at gun shows and are not subject to a criminal background check. This has become known as the “gun show loophole.”

      What gun control proponents never say, though, is that this oft-repeated myth is based on stale data that was grossly exaggerated even when it was fresh.

      The 40 percent bogus figure comes from a 1997 report by the National Institute of Justice, a research agency within the Department of Justice, and was based on a telephone survey sample of just 251 people who acquired firearms in 1993 and 1994. This was years before the NICS system went into effect. Of the 251 participants, 35.7 percent said that they didn’t or “probably” didn’t obtain their gun from a licensed firearms dealer. Because the margin of error was +/– 6 percentage points, it was rounded up to 40 percent, although it could just as easily and legitimately have been rounded down below 30 percent.

      In addition, if you subtract people who said they got their gun as a gift, inheritance, or prize, the number dropped from 35.7 percent to 26.4 percent. And, in terms of how many people actually buy firearms at gun shows, the data from this same survey indicated that in 1994, only 3.9 percent of firearms purchases were made at gun shows.

      Citing this data as evidence of how many firearms are currently purchased through private sales not subject to background checks is akin to citing data about current seat belt usage that is derived from a limited sample taken years before a mandatory seat belt law went into effect or before cars were even required to have seat belts.

  6. Francisco "Paco" Barragán
    February 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

    A sociopath or a mentally unstable person, intent on mass murder will cause more death and destruction by Shooting and Firing into a crowd, than one Shouting Fire in a crowd.

    This is why I think it is reasonable to work in restricting ACTUAL ACCESS to weapons or accessories that maximize the killing effectiveness and efficiency.

  7. Francisco "Paco" Barragán
    February 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal came out in favor of gun control restrictions…

    “I spent a career carrying typically either a M16, and later a M4 carbine,” he said. “And a M4 carbine fires a .223 caliber round, which is 5.56 millimeters, at about 3,000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed to do that. That’s what our soldiers ought to carry.”

    Said McChrystal, “I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America. I believe that we’ve got to take a serious look — I understand everybody’s desire to have whatever they want — but we have to protect our children and our police and we have to protect our population. And I think we have to take a very mature look at that.”

    “I think serious action is necessary. Sometimes we talk about very limited actions on the edges, and I just don’t think that’s enough,” he said.

    Asked what his message was to the National Rifle Association…”I think we have to look at the situation in America. The number of people killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations.”


  8. Carl Overmyer
    February 9, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Mr Barragán,
    First I find it incredibly ironic that you quote a man who’s mouth has gotten him in more trouble at his rank than anyone else I can think of in recent history. Was also implicated in torture of detainees, knowingly filed false reports, opened his mouth way too often and was drummed out because of a Rolling Stone report.


    The list goes on and on. I would suggest if you decide to look into his background with any real depth you will find some great accomplishments but also some really stupid things that have come out of him mouth along with a lot of bad things that happened around him. Isn’t that special!

    Let me make sure I understand. It’s perfectly acceptable to impinge on my Rights, even when the primary of the new plan says, “Nothing we are going to do is fundamentally going to alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down,” Biden said.

    So, on one hand the Right to assemble in a parade, one which I agree with, is viewed as a no compromise situation, and the abrogation of my Right to self defense is not. Is it any wonder that people are confused as hell with the political arena!

    Everyone has Rights, even if they make me uncomfortable.
    Just to be clear, I’m not uncomfortable with any of them.

    I would like to see the Pink Pistols march in the Tet parade on Sunday!

    • RHackett
      February 9, 2013 at 10:20 am


      Yes, McChrystal’s opinions have gotten him into trouble. The irony of your statement being that conservatives idolized him when he ridiculed the Commander in Chief and came to his defense.

      Now you claim that outspokenness is detrimental. Which is it?

      • Carl Overmyer
        February 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

        Funny, Hackett, and you don’t see the irony in him being quoted to support yet another diminishment of basic human Rights?

        He has always been the lead dog in pushing people around.
        He has a history of being a bully!

        • RHackett
          February 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm


          On what do you base that opinion? Something you read on the internet?

          Did he stuff you into a locker when the two of you were in high school?

          He’s allowed an opinion. You’re allowed to be critical of it.

          His beliefs about weapons are forged after years in an occupation witnessing first hand what those weapons of capable of doing.

          Your opinions are based on hyperbole and rumor.

    • Carl Overmyer
      February 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Unfortunately, I see from their website; http://www.pinkpistols.org/
      the OC chapter seems to be inactive.
      I would love to help facilitate the reforming of this chapter in OC if anyone is interested please speak up! Now is the time to stand up and be heard.

Comments are closed.