The Mayor of San Jose has proposed new gun safety measures that would require gun owners to pay an annual fee to cover the cost of gun violence in the city – the first such legislation to be brought forward in the United States.
Sam Liccardo unveiled the initiative on Tuesday, June 8, less than two weeks after nine railyard workers were killed in a mass shooting in the city.
Under the proposal, all registered gun owners in the San Jose area would have to either provide proof of insurance coverage for firearms-related incidents, or pay an annual fee that would go towards paying for care for victims of gun violence.
If we cannot stop the horrors of gun violence in our cities, at least we’re going to have the public stop paying for it.
The Second Amendment protects the right of Americans to own guns but does not require that every other taxpayer pay for that right… requiring gun users to pay fees will help fund critical emergency medical and police response and reduce our taxpayers burdens.
CNN reports that the bill would also introduce several other stringent gun control measures, including mandatory video or audio recordings of gun and ammunition purchases, and the display of suicide prevention materials at places where firearms are sold. Many of the proposals are the first of their kind to be brought forward in a US city.
Liccardo pointed out that while media attention has been focused on the San Jose railyard shooting – the deadliest in the United States this year – there had been eight additional shootings in the 13 days since.
The proposal of the new measures has been backed by several high-profile figures in the Bay Area, including Sam Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, who said, ‘For every life lost at the hand of a gun, a dream is shattered, a family is impacted, and hearts are broken. We must act. I support Mayor Liccardo’s common-sense measures to protect the San José community from further consequences of gun harm.’
Opponents of gun control measures, however, have labelled the proposals ‘unconstitutional’. In a statement reported by NBC Bay Area, the Firearms Policy Coalition said, ‘The days of governments doing whatever they wish to impose expansive, unconstitutional gun control laws are numbered. We will work tirelessly to bring your tyrannical efforts to a crashing halt.’
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