Legislators in the Empire State continue to attack gun owners. This time, the New York Senate is considering S2857A. This bill would require gun owners to purchase $1 million in liability insurance. Those wanting to purchase a gun would even have to obtain insurance beforehand.
The basic idea is insurance to cover expenses caused by gun violence. Wording in the bill justifies this attack by citing recent mass shootings and the New York firearm homicide rate. Criminals used guns to murder 517 people in 2010, and 445 in 2011. However, it also cites little attention being paid to the economics of gun violence.
It even discusses how the bill protects gun owners from liability in the event the gun is stolen. Unless, of course, the gun was stolen through negligence on part of the owner. However, nothing in the language of the bill explains the definition of negligence. This probably means that bureaucrats will decide on a case by case basis.
Gun Owner Liability Insurance
This isn’t the first time gun owner liability insurance has hit the news. In fact, Gov. Andrew Cuomo attacked the National Rifle Association for providing similar insurance earlier this year. Because of this, the NRA stopped offering the Carry Guard Insurance in New York. In fact, this bill requires people to carry insurance that the state actually sanctioned the NRA for offering, according to the Cato Institute.
Now liability insurance for gun owners isn’t a bad thing. It can protect gun owners if something bad happens. This includes criminals stealing guns to commit violence. The NRA offers Carry Guard to gun owners, which provides money to defend against criminal and civil liability. It also offers training to help gun owners avoid and de-escalate situations. The U.S. Concealed Carry Association also offers similar insurance to gun owners. However, this bill mandates insurance for all gun owners.
Worrisome Text of S2857A
1. ANY PERSON IN THIS STATE WHO SHALL OWN A FIREARM SHALL, PRIOR TO SUCH OWNERSHIP, OBTAIN AND CONTINUOUSLY MAINTAIN A POLICY OF LIABILITY INSURANCE IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS SPECIFICALLY COVERING ANY DAMAGES RESULT- ING FROM ANY NEGLIGENT OR WILLFUL ACTS INVOLVING THE USE OF SUCH FIREARM WHILE IT IS OWNED BY SUCH PERSON. FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUCH INSURANCE SHALL RESULT IN THE IMMEDIATE REVOCATION OF SUCH OWNER’S REGISTRATION, LICENSE AND ANY OTHER PRIVILEGE TO OWN SUCH FIREARM.
While S2857A is concerning, one phase really stands out as worrisome. It flat out states that owning a gun is a “privilege.” However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment is a right. So, there is no doubt that if this bill becomes a law, there will be a lawsuit.