Appetite for gun insurance grows, with proposals in 4 states

Despite conflicting evidence on its efficacy, mandatory gun insurance is an increasingly popular idea as crime escalates

Appetite for gun insurance grows, with proposals in 4 states

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, and Los Angeles are all considering mandatory gun liability insurance for gun owners. Should the four states manage to implement the legislation, violators could face fines of up to $10,000.

The gun liability insurance measures are similar to a provision in a bill proposed last year in Congress by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York. Maloney’s “Firearm Risk Protection Act” would require individuals to secure proof of liability insurance before they can purchase a firearm; failure to produce proof would result in a fine.

Hawaii’s proposal is very similar to Maloney’s bill, in that gun owners are required to have insurance for their firearms. The bill, proposed by State Sen. Josh Green, also requires gun owners to renew their registration every five years. The state currently requires guns to be registered, but the registration process is only done once and never again.

Rep. Katherine Rogers, D-Merrimack proposed an identical bill for the state of New Hampshire, requiring the seller, purchaser, and owner of a gun to be covered by a liability policy. The bill also has the same proposed fine of $10,000 for those gun owners caught without insurance.

In New York, the proposed legislation would require gun owners to maintain $250,000 in liability insurance coverage.

Los Angeles County officials are deliberating on whether they should implement more stringent gun control regulations. On top of an insurance requirement, the county is considering imposing local tax on firearms. Purportedly, the proceeds from the insurance would offset costs associated with victims of gun violence.

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