Following a deadly shooting at a northern California light rail yard in May, city council members have unanimously approved a law that requires gun owners to carry liability insurance.
The law, the first of its kind in the nation, requires San Jose gun owners pay a fee to cover taxpayers’ costs associated with gun violence. It was passed Tuesday, reported the San Francisco Chronicle, and confirmed by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo
“We won’t magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it,” Liccardo said in a statement. "We can also better care for its victims, and reduce gun-related injuries and death through sensible interventions.”
A preliminary report released ahead of the vote estimates that the cost of gun violence to taxpayers in the city from 2013-2019 was $442 million in direct out-of-pocket cost, lost work and quality of life, said the statement. That translates to at least $63 million annually.
On May 26, a 57-year-old worker at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail yard fatally shot 9 co-workers before taking his own life in the deadliest mass shooting in Bay Area history. A year earlier, a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the same county left three people dead.
California state lawmakers will grant the VTA $20 million to provide mental health resources and improve safety features in light of the May shooting, the San Jose Spotlight reported.
The new insurance law is part of a 10-point gun control plan that Liccardo unveiled following the shooting. The fee will be determined by the findings of the final report, published by Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation by the end of this year.
City officials know how many guns were purchased in San Jose since 2001, Liccardo said, but the city has no gun registry and no way to track gun owners.
Earlier this month, city lawmakers passed a new law requiring all retailers to record video and audio of all firearm purchases. San Jose became the largest California city with such a rule.
Contributing: The Associated Press