California Mandatory Gun Insurance Bill AB-231 Revealed. Ish.

NRA-approved insurance offer (courtesy locktonrisk.com) ”Existing law provides that the Legislature finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals.” I’m no Constitutional scholar but I don’t remember reading about a citizen’s right to be protected from fear, intimidation and physical harm. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled quite the opposite: the police have no obligation to protect citizens. Although there’s no text on AB-231 yet, we know . . .

This is the bill that would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance, introduced by Assemblyman Philip Ting of San Francisco and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles. Why? ”There’s basically a cost that is born by the taxpayers when accidents occur,” Ting told foxenews.com, “I don’t think that taxpayers should be footing those bills.”

As we don’t have the text, we don’t know what kind of insurance Ting and his pals would impose on Californians looking to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Strangely, the bill’s summary doesn’t make any economic argument: “This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would ensure that Californians are not at undue risk of gun violence.”

I suppose getting shot by a cop is not undue, then. And I’d like to hear how forcing gun owners to buy insurance reduces their risk of encountering gun violence. Or anyone else’s risk, for that matter.

Not that buying insurance for your firearms or to defray legal costs for a defensive gun use is a bad thing. But making it mandatory is a clear infringement and an undue burden on the aforementioned right. As Martin Luther King said, a right delayed is a right denied.

 

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

44 Responses to California Mandatory Gun Insurance Bill AB-231 Revealed. Ish.

  1. avatarWilliam says:

    Is this for when your gun crashes into somebody else’s gun, to cover for any damages which may accrue?

  2. avatarIndyEric says:

    Poll Tax?

  3. avatarDon says:

    All they’re trying to do is increase the cost of gun ownership so that fewer people can afford gun ownership, so that they ultimately decrease gun ownership.

    It is an attempt at a functional ban, guns are legal but we’ve made them too administratively expensive to realize in reality. This is the same motivation behind per cartridge ammo taxes, ammo background checks (extra 3-8 bucks), per gun registration fees, etc. Ultimately schemes of this type set up and enforce a class system, screwing the poor, screwing the middle class, and leaving the upper class with their rights functionally intact. Ask David Gregory.

    • avatarBen says:

      This is also pretty obviously unconstitutional. The government can’t pass laws or enact taxes aimed at preventing or diminishing the exercise of a constitutional right.

      • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

        lmao you are the same morons who argue the complete opposite w/r/t voter registration laws.

        Conservatives are the dumbest idiots around :)

        • avatarKeith says:

          I guess it’s not flaming when you follow it with a smiley face. GLG, the kinder, gentler troll. . . .

  4. avatarKCK says:

    Well then, Hurricane Sandy $50 Billion plus in aid to those who chose to under insure or risk where they lived is not a burden on the taxpayer ???????????????????
    Maybe I’ll go buy disability insurance in case I am injured by a criminal, whom I am sure is under insured.
    Anybody have stats on criminal caused gun injuries v negligent (ND’s & AD’s)?

  5. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    I was going to wait for the text until I wrote anything on this, however….

    If you purchase private liability insurance through company X. How is that going to do anything to help deal with the criminal who illegally purchased, or stole a firearm, and committed a crime? If a gun was stolen, then the insurance company is off the hook.

    I will go out on a limb here and say that 95% of all gun crime in California is done by criminals who probably got their gun illegally, and are prohibited from owning one anyway. They don’t submit to background checks or fund the DROS system which is currently 1.6 million dollars in the black! Yeah there is a law suite about that too!

    So all this garbage does is create an additional step for law abiding gun owners to exercise their constitutional rights as Americans. The idea of this is outlandish, and illegal or unconstitutional at least. If a insurance company were to deny you coverage or say your premium is some outlandish amount it would be illegal because folks could not afford it. This is another case of the beurocrats throwing more steaming excrement at the wall to see if it will stick. Who cares if it does anything meaningful or not!

    Can you tell I am a bit irritated at Sacramento.. I am being polite here. Sam Paredes from the GOA of California is on top of this. If this actually gains any text we will be reviewing it quickly.

  6. avatarChris from Iowa says:

    Since Obamacare would mandate that any shooting victim is required to have health insurance, where exactly is the undue burden on taxpayers again?

  7. avatarBrooklyn in da house says:

    This is out of control. All BS aside how do we make this stop? Every other day some idiot is coming up with what they think is a good idea to infringe on our rights without repercussion.

    • avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

      You can’t make it stop. You just have to keep fighting. Collectivists (communists, socialists, leftists, progressives, whatever name they use) have been in the US from the very beginning. There will always be potential tyrants who would use these collectivists to gain power. One of the prices of freedom is the responsibility to make sure they don’t take over.

  8. avatarLance says:

    Daniel Silverman please move away the your neighbors in Kaliforina are so dumb they elected a pure fascist state government not telling what they’ll do flee my friend fast!!

  9. avatarAccur81 says:

    Yet another idea by Democrats to force people to purchase insurance, as unconstitutional as the first one. Looks like we are getting the bigger government that we keep voting for. Wonderful.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    The NRA offers insurance from Lloyd’s that will cover personal liability with a $250,000 limit, including civil and self-defense related criminal defense costs, for the grand total of $254 per year. Which means that for the equivalent of about $21 bucks a month, you might not end up like George Zimmerman, dependent on the donations of strangers.

    If you only need $100k of coverage, the premium is only $165 annually. Why is the premium so low? Because the risk is so low. If you have assets to protect, this policy seems cheap at twice the price.

    I have no financial interest in this, don’t sell insurance and I’m not recommending anything. I just figured that y’all might want to know.

    • avatarJason Lynch says:

      Ralph,

      This is something that may gently bite its proponents, if it ends up highlighting that lawful gun owners are a low risk and thus cheap to insure. There’s lies, damn lies and statistics… and then there’s actuarial data and insurance companies competing for business.

      I wouldn’t call it a good thing (I’m with RF on insurance being an excellent but voluntary idea, in the current environment) but I can also see why it may not have the result that Ting expects.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      I don’t mind paying taxes when they get the streets paved, highways built, schools funded, etc.

      This is a tax that would go straight into the pockets of the insurance companies, serving no useful purpose to society. Even if the risk pool becomes so large that the premiums drop to de minimis levels, it’s still a tax.

      Ralph, I’m not putting words in your mouth — I know you weren’t saying or implying that this was a good idea. I just wanted to make clear that, unlike other unavoidable costs of participating in society, I consider this an unjust tax payable to non-government entities.

      Come to think of it, I’d like to see the donor list for the two sponsors. Any insurance companies, consortia, or insurance-related lobbying organizations?

  11. avatarSteve Ramsey says:

    Disobey.

    Gun owners just need to let go of “law abiding”. We tried it. It doesn’t work. We used the phrase as a battle cry and shield. It turned out the battle cry was a magnet for ridicule, and the shield was made of cardboard.

    I am no longer a “law abiding” gun owner. I am a “constitutional” gun owner.

    Acknowledging unconstitutional gun laws by compliance is just feeding the beast. Sorry beast. No more scooby snacks for you. By your blatant, unconstitutional over reach, I have lost respect for your “laws”. Years of compliance have brought no benefit to me or anyone else.

    I declare myself liberated.

    • avatarLongBeach says:

      This is where most CA gun owners are at, whether they know it or not. Nice work verbalizing the concept. This puts us in the position of doing something “right” versus “legal”, a position that this back-asswards state has forced us into. As a school employee, would it be “legal” for me to carry on campus to protect myself and my students? Of course not. Would it be “right” and “constitutional”? Bet your ass. The proverbial rock and hard place…

  12. avatarMark says:

    “…making it mandatory is a clear infringement…” and therefore, illegal.

  13. avatarJake W says:

    I really don’t see how this can be seen as anything but what it is..An attack on law abiding gun owners….Absolutely disgusting.

  14. avatarTS says:

    I wish there were some way to elect sane and reasonable people here in CA.

    But I don’t know how to do it? There just seems to be too much money in LA and SF. Even in my reasonably conservative area – they redrew the districting and now we’ve got super majorities.

  15. avatarduzt says:

    i just read that cops “accidently” kill more innocent people per year than mass shooters over ten years. methinks perhaps the piggies should only have bean bags guns since they cant be trusted to make an informed decision under pressure.

  16. avatarRob says:

    How would something like this have stopped Sandy Hook?

  17. avatarFred says:

    What about Vermont where they would like to impose a $500 tax on anyone that does not own a gun because they are choosing to rely on the police, which takes more resources?
    http://gunowners.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/vermont-bill-would-fine-citizens-for-not-having-a-firearm/

    That’s common sense, not making it more difficult to defend yourself and more likely to rely on the (struggling) state and federal budgets.

    • avatarRambeast says:

      Have you stopped to consider that this is just another form of registry? If the nons pay the tax, then the owners are clearly identified. They may not know exactly what you own, but they know you do own at least one firearm.

  18. avatarflyboy says:

    Wow, by that reasoning, the California legislators should be forced to take out huge insurance policies for the damage that they cause every day to their state’s economy!

  19. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I hear thats on the back burner, mandatory insurance for for loss of homosexuals wedding rings has taken center stage now. I knew Cali could get their priorities “straight”, Randy tongue in cheek

  20. avatarMark N. says:

    These idiots have no concept of what they are talking about. What these guys want is personal injury protection; they could care less if the policies provide coverage for defense costs. But this is stupid. Obviously, criminals will not be buying this insurance, and second intentional acts are not covered by liability insurance; this insurance will therefore not provide any coverage for violent criminal acts. Period. The cost to the public of violent crime will not be reduced by a single penny. To anyone in the insurance industry or insurance overag attorneys, this conclusion is obvious and inescapable. Let’s add to that: if you are a homeowner and negligently shoot someone (I didn’t know the gun was loaded, I thought he was an intruder), your homeowner’s liability coverage will probably apply. In fact it will apply to negligent shootings pretty much everywhere. So those costs are already insured, separate and apart from the gun owner’s neglignece liability and exposure to civil damages.
    So what we end up with is no coverage to victims of violent crimews (intentional acts by definition), and double costs to gun owners whose insurance will apply only in the rare circumstance of an accidental shooting. Then there is the other commonsense objection, as others above have noted: why should law-abiding gun owners be burdened with the cost of violent crime that they did not cause?

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Let’s see if I can explain the logic behind this idiocy without gagging:

      * All guns are, in a perfect world, originally purchased by properly vetted lawful owners

      * Some fraction of those guns are then transferred, via sale or misappropriation, to the control of criminal-types

      * Criminals then use those guns to commit crimes against both lawful citizens and other criminals

      * Therefore, lawful gun buyers are the source of “crime guns” via direct or contributory negligence and should bear the downstream societal costs “caused” by their purchases of guns in the first place.

      “You should have done more to properly secure your guns against theft…”

      “You should have known that the private buyer for your Glock was up to no good…”

      Etc.

      Excuse me while I go look for some mouthwash.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        I’m sorry, I missed the “logic” part. What was that again?

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Exactly.

          I probably should have used scare quotes for that bit. Seem like a reasonable theory describing the thought process, though?

  21. avatarLeo338 says:

    I see a lot of anti’s stating that their right to live and see a movie without the fear of being shot trumps our right to keep and bear arms. I am not sure where they get this from, I think it may be from the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    • avatarKeith says:

      Don’t get caught in this. It’s a trap. One does indeed have the right to pursue happiness, but that says nothing about a right to live without fear. This concept would lead straight to the banning of dogs, cramped spaces, and clowns.

      As someone else said toward the beginning this orgy of gun grabbing, we are playing Whack-a-Mole with arguments as brazen as they are erroneous.

  22. avatarbill says:

    wait, so they are unduly taxing people to recover costs? And would leo’s be exempt? if not then wouldn’t that be more costly for taxpayers insuring ever single officer? and What Insurance company would take a silly risk like that? Doubt that’s a money maker. And how would you enforce it? Those idiots in San Francisco and LA Keep coming up with laws that are ridiculous.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      All handguns are (supposed to be) registered. They’ll try to do like they do for cars, require annual reregistration with proof of insurance. Not that that works–an estimated 20% of Cali drivers are uninsured.

  23. avatarBryan says:

    Besides creating more bureaucracy……I thought we were broke.
    The insurance for gun owners is an end around/backdoor to registration. Registration opens the door to confiscation. Govt. would only need to subpoena the records of insurance companies to get the names of all gun owners. Except the criminals of course……….

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Too late. After a certain date some number of years back (I don’t recall when–I wasn’t here) all 4473s go to the CaDOJ for handgun purchases, which list name, model, caliber and serial number. Anyone moving here from out of state is supposed to register all handguns within 60 days on a form prescribed by the DOJ. So probably the majority of handguns are indeed registered already.

  24. avatarcharly eitel says:

    Please excuse the sarcasm here…. “…..of course all the criminals have legally purchased and registered their weapons…. State and Federal laws require them to do so…..”
    Anyone who cannot understand that criminals do not obey laws has a serious logic problem.
    New laws, taxes, insurance, etc, only affect legitimate gun owners. Criminals will be pleased to see more restrictions; it will only make the illegal trade and market value for guns increase.
    I do not know of any legitimate gun owners who participate in illegal activities; smuggling, robbery, drugs, etc.
    My American privilege to own and shoot guns is no different than any other sporting activity.

  25. avatarPeter Horacek says:

    I’m sure all the gangsters, muggers, bankrobbers, home invaders, and the like will be lining up to comply with AB231. Leave it to California to come up with another (taxable) madate/industry! CA is doing its level-best to protect the lawbreaker.

  26. avatarBill says:

    Ok, follow me on this and tell me if I’m insane, or just off-the-mark.
    The right to vote is guaranteed by the Constitution. This includes protection from paying a “vote tax” by the 24th Amendment.
    So, if we don’t have to pay to exercise our rights granted by the Constitution, then wouldn’t that make liability insurance for owning a gun unConstitutional?

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