San Jose mayor touts benefits of his insurance mandate

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San Jose isn’t exactly the first community most think of when they talk about gun control. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston are all much more likely to be brought up than San Jose.

However, the city’s mayor is doing all he can to change that.

The mayor is now on the pages of the Los Angeles Times talking about how his proposals are such a great idea.

gunman holding four people hostage at a Colleyville, Texas, synagogue this weekend provides another reminder of the daily threat of gun violence to our local communities. San Jose, where I am mayor, is hardly immune: Our 1 million residents have endured three mass shootings in three years, along with hundreds of gun-inflicted killings, suicides and serious injuries.

Last June our City Council unanimously approved my proposals that will mitigate gun harm in our community — and a final vote on Jan. 25 should turn them into law. The proposals include two requirements for gun owners that no city or state in the U.S. has ever implemented: the purchase of liability insurance and the payment of annual fees to fund violence-reduction initiatives. We anticipate that a barrage of lawsuits from the firearm industry and gun rights advocates will follow.

Why should any city subject itself to litigation? Because now-common horrific reports of shootings throughout the nation do little more than elicit a performative parade of prayers and platitudes from Congress. Because problem-solving must be elevated over political posturing.

And yet, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s posturing – something he continues here – includes a mandate for liability insurance that simply doesn’t exist.

Moreover, I’ve previously reached out to his office to ask if they were aware of anyone interested in offering this insurance should the law be passed next week. In that previous report, I noted that I still hadn’t heard back. Six months later, I still haven’t.

For all his talk of problem-solving needing to be elevated over posturing, Liccardo is posturing.

After all, if one is required to have insurance that doesn’t exist prior to owning a gun, what he’s effectively done is ban firearms in the city of San Jose. I know a court with nine judges who would probably be very interested in discussing that mandate.

Frankly, even if it did, what Liccardo is presenting is a poll tax for gun ownership, something the courts have struck down repeatedly in the past.

All he’s doing is posturing, especially since he has to know that criminals aren’t purchasing their guns lawfully, so there’s absolutely no chance they’ll pay the fees or get the insurance.

He also has to know by now that insurance companies won’t cover what he thinks they’ll cover. See, the reason I figure I haven’t heard back for six months is that they know this.

The problem with the San Jose proposal is that it requires insurance companies to cover intentional acts by the gun owner or a third party. When you’re talking about something like a gun, these intentional acts are things like homicides, attempted murder, aggravated assaults, and so on.

Insurance doesn’t work like that. If you accidentally shoot someone during a negligent discharge, gun liability insurance would probably pay for that – and jack your rates up – but if someone is going to go on a killing spree? No chance.

As such, they’re simply not going to offer the kind of insurance San Jose is set to demand.

And that only scratches the surface of this insurance requirement. If my gun gets stolen, do you really think I’m keeping up the premiums? So if someone is shot with that stolen gun two years later, who pays?

The whole thing is laughable in its enforcement.

So, when Liccardo complains about posturing, he should probably do so while facing a mirror. At least then he’ll be talking to the person he most needs to.