Home>Articles>San Jose City Mayor Sam Liccardo Pushing for Tuesday Vote On Mandatory Firearm Insurance and Annual Fee

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (Photo: sanjoseca.gov)

San Jose City Mayor Sam Liccardo Pushing for Tuesday Vote On Mandatory Firearm Insurance and Annual Fee

If passed, legislation would be first like it in nation

By Evan Symon, January 25, 2022 2:14 am

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo made a final push Monday to make San Jose the first city in the USA to have mandatory gun ownership fees and liability insurance, via a City Council vote on Tuesday.

According to the proposed legislation, all San Jose residents who own at least one gun would need to pay a $25 annual fee. Gun insurance would also need to be purchased, with coverage extending to losses or damages coming from accidental firearm discharge, intentional acts of third parties who use the weapon, and any other negligent use. Policyholder misconduct would not be covered by the insurance, with law enforcement members being exempted from carrying insurance.

The annual fee, which is estimated to amount to around $1.3 million a year, would go to an as-of-yet unnamed non-profit organization aimed at preventing gun violence, giving support to families and victims of gun violence, suicide prevention, and other similar services.

Liccardo first introduced the legislation in 2019, following the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in July of 2019. Intended as a way to reduce gun violence and increase accountability of shooters, Liccardo compared it to other state and local taxes, such as people paying high taxes for cigarettes or liquor.

“A mayor doesn’t have the luxury of just offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ — we have to solve problems,” said Liccardo in 2019. “While this is far from a complete solution, it is something we can do to reduce the harms of firearms, without waiting for Congress to take action.”

Over the next several years, Liccardo has routinely brought up a new version of the firearm legislation, only for it to fizzle out then brought back up following big changes to the legislation or another shooting happening nearby, such as the VTA Light Rail Yard shooting last year in San Jose. This led to the latest push of his legislation, which now goes up for a vote Tuesday in the City Council.

“We cannot wait for Congress to act to protect our residents,” noted Mayor Liccardo at a news conference on Monday. “More than 200 San Joseans every single year suffered death or serious injury as a result of firearms, and we must do whatever we can within our power to prevent another family from experiencing yet another devastating loss.”

Liccardo’s firearm legislation comes to a vote

Unlike previous iterations of the past, Liccardo’s latest version has brought in the support of Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, gun control organizations, and many members of the City Council.

However, despite Liccardo’s strong push and the high level of support, citizens in favor of gun rights, as well as some lawmakers, have come out in opposition to the plan and threaten to derail his legislation.

Some, such as Councilwoman Dev Davis, has said that gun owners should not be punished with fees and needing to buy insurance, with the focus instead going to those who own illegal ghost guns, reducing gang violence, and putting more gun safety programs into effect.

“We should not be punishing legal gun owners because they are the easiest target to regulate,” said Davis earlier this month. “We should be pursuing prosecution and jail time for anyone in possession of ghost guns that circumvent regulation.”

Gun organizations have taken a more hardline approach, explaining that this program would only serve to hurt legal gun owners and not criminals, with legal action likely if this is approved on Tuesday.

“This thing Liccardo wants passed, you know who it’s primarily going to affect, right?” asked Justin Smalls, a leader of a local hunting group in San Jose. “Legal gun owners. A lot of people here have a gun for home protection, to hunt with, or a variety of other legal reasons. And who has to pay that fee and the insurance? The people owning them legally. Those who own them illegally need to do nothing, so all that is really happening is extra special costs to us and the city getting a lot in their coffers.”

“There’s talk of lawsuits too. Any time a city or state tries to pull something like this, the courts are slammed with lawsuits, and if the City Council makes the mistake of passing this, it will happen again. It, when it comes down to it, infringes on Second Amendment rights.”

The vote is expected to take place on Tuesday during the City Council meeting.

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17 thoughts on “San Jose City Mayor Sam Liccardo Pushing for Tuesday Vote On Mandatory Firearm Insurance and Annual Fee

  1. You don’t have to buy a firearm in San Jose, you can legally go anywhere in the state and get one. That’s one easy way to get around this confederate loser. The city is a clay pigeon range for blk & Spanish gangbangers and this is ALL he can think of. If you don’t sign up and expose yourself to this poltroons goon squads, there ain’t nothing he can do. He’s an embarrassment to all Italians.

  2. Another buffoon with a “D” in his title that thinks Constitutional Rights can be licensed or given permission by the government. He and his party never understood the meaning of “shall not be abridged.” IGNORE.

  3. This is an excellent idea from Liccardo. Gun owners need to take responsibility if they are going to own a device that has just one intention: killing of people.
    Gun owners should be insured and be prepared to pay if their gun is used in a murder.

    1. Guns also can defend those being attacked and even killed.
      Its a constitutional right not to be infringed and that is what this is – It would be challenged and lose in SCOTUS.

      Explain to me how many Gangs or those that committed murders with illegal firearms this will affect? Its a direct assault on LEGAL owners and LAW ABIDERS – this also affect those poor who did purchase legally to protect themselves to being able to have the constitutional protection.

    2. W16521, your point is totally illogical. The device is not the problem….the problem is the person using it. A gun has multiple legitimate legal uses and not “a device that has just one intention: killing of people.” By your way of thinking, car dealers should be held responsible for selling a car used in a murder or other crime. Stinking thinking on your part.

      1. Wrong Ray! The problem is that guns are even available to people. Right wingers have been taking the second amendment out of context for decades.
        You analogy is bogus too. The purpose of a car is to transport people. It is not sold with the intention of it being used as a weapon. A gun has one purpose: Killing People! It has no other legit legal uses.

        1. @w12561, as usual you are wrong as are most leftists are. Guns are used in this country by LAW ABIDING GUN OWNERS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES. That is something that your CNN, MSNBC, local mainstream news stations, and newspapers don’t tell you. A few years ago two neighbors of mine (who are liberal) were the victims of a home invasion in which the attackers tied them up with duct tape, ransacked their house, and stole their two cars and then drove them into a local reservoir. They decided that they were not going to be defenseless anymore and both purchased firearms, and after completing firearms training courses they both go to the firing range regularly. I hope you never have to experience anything like they had to but you might want to check out this “right wing propaganda website”. https://americangunfacts.com/guns-used-in-self-defense-stats/

        2. W16521, you have no idea what you are talking about do you? Duck hunters have no intention of using their guns as weapons to kill people; only ducks. They could also use their gun for self-protection if attacked by a bear, for example. ANY device can be used to kill people including a knife, a coat hanger, a car or a toaster oven. It’s the PERSON who decides the PURPOSE – good or bad. Grow up and start acting like an adult.

          1. No Ray gun. It is YOU who does not know what he is talking about. You need to open up your mind and listen to people who have a different viewpoint then your own.

  4. I am all for it only if there is a $1.00 tax on every 6 pack of beer. $1.00 tax on every bottle of booze. $500,000.00 liability insurance for wrong doing from drinking.

  5. So ,San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo wants to tax gun owners ‘just in case’ their gun is used to kill someone.
    Will this proposed insurance pay the legal fees that a gun owner might face if sued by one of these
    brazen criminals ?
    This comes one day after another ‘smash and grab’ at the Tanforan mall yesterday.
    Isn’t it interesting how quickly the thieves ran away when there was a gun
    pointed at them ?
    These lawmakers and elected officials are NOT living in the same California that the rest of us are.

    1. you are correct, if the City inserts itself into the liability of gun violence, they become liable for any committed after this becomes an ordinance.. The City lawyers should stop this before it gets started..

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