Can insurance stop gun violence?
A proposal has surfaced in a number of states to require gun owners to buy liability insurance.
This post comes from Jay MacDonald at partner site Bankrate.com.
Legislators in Massachusetts invited insurance into the discussion last month when they proposed a state law that would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance in the event one of their firearms should cause injury or death.
The proposal, which has surfaced in several other states, comes in the wake of the December slayings of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Such mandatory insurance coverage could include incentive discounts for gun owners who take firearms safety courses and store their weapons properly.
In addition, the bill would enable insurance companies to do what law enforcement agents cannot under current Massachusetts law: enter a person's home to verify that guns are secured. That's a step that could be taken before a liability policy is issued.
The proposed gun insurance law does not address how much liability insurance would be required or whether coverage under a homeowners insurance policy would be sufficient. But it does state that those found to be in possession of an uninsured gun would face a fine of between $500 and $5,000 or up to a year in jail.
State Rep. David Linsky, the bill's sponsor, says there are ample precedents that insurance used for the public good can save lives. "Insurance companies were able to discourage smoking through the marketplace and make cars safer through the marketplace," he observed.
Gun rights activists have been quick to denounce the bill as what they call another misguided attempt to saddle law-abiding gun owners with unnecessary regulation. They maintain that such a law would penalize those who buy and own guns legally while having little impact on those who acquire weapons illegally.
"Now we're going to have insurance companies telling us how we are supposed to be trained and where we are going to store our guns?" asked Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League in Massachusetts.
But in the wake of the Sandy Hook slayings, the idea of inviting insurance into the discussion was welcomed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who co-chairs Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
"It's time that we think about alternative ways that we can effectively deal with gun violence," Warren said. "We need better research. We need better understanding. We need to try different approaches to protect our children."
What are your thoughts? Would a gun liability insurance law stem gun violence in America?
More on Bankrate.com and MSN Money:
Should gun owners be required to purchase liability insurance? Absolutely not.
Would a gun liability insurance law stem gun violence in America? Absolutely not.
It's a stupid idea brought about by an anti-liberty, anti-individual philosophy. The best way to "stem gun violence" is to not legally disarm individuals - or to refrain from infringing in any way on their absolute right to self-defense. It's a pretty simple concept.
Lets just put the criminals in jail and keep them there.
Then there will be no need to "re-invent the wheel" with stupid ideas like gun owners insurance.
70% of crimes committed with guns are committed by criminals with prior convictions for gun crimes.
Catch and release, it isn't just for fishing anymore !
Put them in jail. Keep them there for a long time. This will solve more problems than gun problems as well.
It's time tested and it works. Anything else is just left wing garbage...End of story.
Just another end around play to dismantle the 2nd amendment. Who defines "safe storing of a weapon" ? If a person, or a couple never has children in the home, there should be no objection to a loaded weapon in the drawer of a night stand, or on a coffee table for that matter. Those living in a high crime area are probably in a low income situation and would only be further burdened by this ridiculous law.
Here's a novel idea for the wizards of Washington. Classify gang activity as domestic terrorism. Your sorry *ss goes to a black hole somewhere and you get no lawyer and you have no rights. You kill someone, you get the needle and I personally don't care if you are only 12.
If they don't do anything to eliminate those that are not honest gun owners, then the alternative is for all of us to be dishonest gun owners.
All you gun owners better vote this coming fall for those that do not want to take away your rights.
For all of you that don't own firearms, you better vote for the right to own firearms so the Gov't doesn't enforce their brand of tyranny on you next.
.....and the stupidity just keeps rolling from politicians mouths. Don't you think that insurance companies and lawyers now have to much input into the US government as it is?
It's either one or both of them putting their hands in our pocket to much because that is where major influence comes from.
Come on people, pay attention to who you vote for.
The clowns who advocate for and propose these laws are playing with fire.
i can subsidize all the criminals and make the insurance companies richer at the same time!
this is a great idea ...
"Would a gun liability insurance law stem gun violence in America?"
The short answer is "no." Individuals set on illegal use of a firearm are not going to buy the insurance. As the article rightly states, this penalizes law-abiding persons while having ZERO effect on criminal behavior. Comparing it to smoking or car safety is a sham since neither were illegal to begin with.
We have laws that criminalize use of a weapon. Guns are not the only weapons, nor are they the only ranged weapons -- a recurve bow can be bought without even a background check and it is just as lethal. Punish the criminals, not the innocent....or has everyone forgotten what principles we founded this country on?
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