SAN JOSE – San Jose residents who own guns will have to carry firearm liability insurance at the start of the new year.
The ordinance, which is the first of its kind in the US, will work much like auto insurance, requiring gun owners to provide proof of gun liability insurance upon request.
Gun liability insurance covers losses or damages resulting from the unintentional, negligent or reckless use of firearms, including death, injury and property damage.
That coverage would be used to compensate the victims of unintentional shootings for medical, funeral or other costs associated with the shooting.
According to data shared by the city, negligent and reckless firearm use has caused an average of 42 percent of people who were treated for gunshot wounds in San Jose emergency departments.
Gun owners who do not comply with the new insurance regulations will be subject to an administrative citation and fine.
There are limited exceptions under the ordinance for law enforcement officers, for undue financial hardship or for those with a concealed carry license, which gun owners can select on the gun liability attestation form from the city that gun owners must keep with their weapons.
San Jose had also previously approved an ordinance that firearm owners pay a gun harm reduction fee, but that fee is still several months away from being implemented due to litigation.
Gun owners can obtain the required liability insurance through most homeowner or renter policies.
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