Second Amendment infringement may be on the horizon again, with so-called “gun insurance” added to the list of requirement to purchase and carry a firearm.
US Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.) has introduced a gun control bill that would mandate that every American who wants to own a gun also purchase and carry liability insurance as well.
The Firearm Risk Protection Act, H.R. 2546, was unveiled in late May and would require that gun owners buy liability insurance coverage before being permitted to buy a handgun or a rifle from a store or dealer. A $10,000 fine would be levied if a gun owner is caught without gun insurance.
The only exemptions would be members of the military and law enforcement officers.
“We require insurance to own a car, but no such requirement exists for guns,” Maloney said. “The results are clear: Car fatalities have declined by 25 percent in the last decade, but gun fatalities continue to rise. One reason is that auto insurance incentivizes precautions that reduce accidents, and make crashes less deadly. No similar incentives exist for gun owners.”
Maloney, one of the more liberal members of Congress, claimed it was a “free market” bill.
“An insurance requirement would allow the free market to encourage cautious behavior and help save lives,” she said. “Adequate liability coverage would also ensure that the victims of gun violence are fairly compensated when crimes or accidents occur.”
But Bob Owens at BearingArms.com countered that there “is no law mandating that Americans must purchase insurance to possess or own a car.”
“Nor is there any tie whatsoever between liability insurance and the declining lethality of automobile accidents; the lives saved in motor vehicle accidents are best attributed to rapid advances in automobile safety technologies demanded by consumers (not government intervention) in recent decades,” Owens wrote.
Also, the gun homicide rate is down 49 percent since 1993, according to the Pew Research Center.
George Mocsary, a professor from the Southern Illinois University School of Law, said that most gun insurance proposals would not cut gun violence or provide adequate compensation.
“The last year has seen a number of calls for legislation requiring would-be gun owners to maintain liability insurance,” Mocsary said during a forum on such legislation, according to the Insurance Business America website. “The idea is that it would serve as a private regulator of guns and compensate victims of gun violence. There’s good reason to believe, however, that insurance would fall short of both of these goals.”
For example, nearly 97 percent of gun deaths involve murders or suicides, and neither are covered under most gun insurance proposals.
Besides, Mocsary said, criminals wouldn’t purchase insurance.
“There’s no reason to believe a criminal who doesn’t fear criminal sanctions for homicide would fear a penalty for not insuring,” Mocsary said.
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