More evidence San Jose didn't think things through

More evidence San Jose didn't think things through
MikeGunner / Pixabay

The city of San Jose got a lot of praise from gun control groups over its recent regulations. You’ve got to have insurance if you own a gun and you have to pay a fee for the privilege of having a firearm.

And yes, if you have to pay a fee, they’ve turned people’s Second Amendment rights into a privilege.

However, it seems the city is having some…issues.

San Jose has an ambitious plan to curb gun violence by mandating gun owners pay an annual fee. But nothing is in place, and the clock to implementation is quickly winding down.

Earlier this year, San Jose became the first city in the nation to require residents who own firearms to pay an annual $25 per household fee and purchase gun insurance to cover losses or damages stemming from negligence. The policy, championed by Mayor Sam Liccardo, designates a nonprofit to collect the annual fees and decide how to spend it.

With the law set to take effect in early August, a group of community leaders recruited by the mayor to spearhead the efforts has only met once—in January. The group, made up of local nonprofit heads and a gun advocate, currently finds itself in limbo as it waits for direction, members said.

Dave Truslow, a gun advocate recruited to help form the nonprofit, said the mayor told the group the city was looking to either create a nonprofit or recruit an existing organization to enforce its gun harm reduction ordinance. But neither has happened.

“It wasn’t clear what would happen after that meeting, and it still isn’t clear what the path forward is,” Truslow told San José Spotlight. “I am clueless. There has been no follow up.”

Gun control groups who are part of the group confirmed there’s been no follow-up as well.

So, just so we’re clear, San Jose passes a law that mandates gun owners pay a fee in order to possess a firearm, but they can’t seem to put the structure in place?

Why was this not thought out before the law was passed?

I mean, I get that Mayor Sam Liccardo was hellbent on pushing through these rules–something that’s been on the gun control wishlist for ages–but you’d have thought he’d have at least figured out how to college the fees. In fact, it would seem that should have been part of the ordinance the city passed.

But nope.

Then again, this is really just another example of the magical thinking that drove this regulation in the first place. The insurance rule was put in place in hopes that insurance companies would start mandating things to homeowners, but experts have said that’s not likely to happen.

This is just more of the same.

So what happens if the city can’t figure out a structure by the deadline? It seems to be there will be little choice but to not charge anyone for not paying said fees. After all, how can you pay for a privilege when there’s literally no one to give money to?

Then, of course, there are the legal challenges. They’re out there already and I don’t see how this one survives. Charging a fee to own a firearm is akin to collecting a poll tax, something that the courts have repeatedly struck down, even when the associated fee can be justified for administrative purposes alone.

For example, when Georgia passed their voter ID requirement, the state Supreme Court killed it because people had to pay for an ID, thus making it a poll tax. The state then had to basically give IDs out to avoid the problem, even though that cost the state money.

As such, I don’t see how this fee survives, especially since it’s not even justified under administrative costs, taxes, or some other generally justifiable reason. No, it’s to punish gun owners for the actions of people who won’t be paying the fee and we all know it.

But San Jose hasn’t thought any of this through, which should be clear to all by now.