San Jose has become the first city in the nation to require gun owners to carry liability insurance. The ordinance will also require gun owners to pay an annual fee, which will be used to help the city respond to acts of gun-related violence.

The ordinance was passed more than a month after a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority worker opened fire on colleagues at the light rail yard, killing nine.

“We won’t magically end gun violence, but we stop paying for it,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.

The fee amounts still have to be determined. Liccardo estimated it would be “a couple dozen dollars.”

The Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation is working on a gun impact study that would help guide that decision-making process. A preliminary report by the institute put the public cost of gun violence in San Jose at around $63 million a year. We need to pass a law here that makes the gun owners pay, not the taxpayers.


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