Jun 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

San Jose will require gun owners to help cover cost of gun violence

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo speaks during a press conference honoring nine colleagues killed by a coworker on Thursday,
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo speaks during a press conference honoring nine people killed by a co-worker in May. Photo: Aric Crabb/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

San Jose will require gun owners to compensate taxpayers for gun-related emergency responses, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Why it matters: It's the first U.S. city to take such a step. The move, approved unanimously by the San Jose City Council on Tuesday, comes after last month's mass shooting at a transit station in the city.

The big picture: The ordinance requires every firearm owner to buy liability insurance coverage and pay an annual fee for medical and police responses to gun-related injuries and deaths, the Chronicle reports.

  • Officials haven't decided how much gun owners would be required to pay annually, but the amount would be determined following a gun harm study from the Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation, which is expected to be completed this fall.
  • In a preliminary report, the institute estimated that gun-related homicides, suicides and other shootings cost San Jose about $63 million annually, per the Chronicle.

The ordinance is expected to face legal challenges from gun rights advocates, the Chronicle notes.

What they're saying: “We won't magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement ahead of the vote.

  • "We can also better care for its victims, and reduce gun-related injuries and death through sensible interventions,” he added.
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