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San Jose First City to Require Gun Liability Insurance

San Jose., Ca., leaders voted Tuesday night to require gun owners to carry liability insurance in what's believed to be the nation's first measure of its kind, the Associated Press reports. The San Jose City Council overwhelmingly approved the measure despite opposition from gun owners, who said they would sue to stop the law as a violation of their Second Amendment rights The Silicon Valley city of about 1 million followed a trend of other Democratic-led cities that have sought to rein in violence through stricter rules on guns. Having liability insurance would encourage people in the 55,000 households in San Jose who legally own at least one registered gun to have gun safes, install trigger locks and take gun safety classes, Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

The liability insurance would cover losses or damages resulting from any accidental use of the firearm, including death, injury, or property damage, according to the ordinance. If a gun is stolen or lost, the owner of the firearm would be considered liable until the theft or loss is reported to authorities. Gun owners who don't have insurance won't lose their guns or face any criminal charges, the mayor said. The council also voted to require gun owners to pay an estimated $25 fee, which would be collected by a yet-to-be-named nonprofit. The funds would be given to community groups for firearm safety education and training, suicide prevention, domestic violence, and mental health services.