A new House bill has been introduced that would mean that owners would need to carry liability coverage.
House Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) introduced a bill, last week, that would mean that Americans who own firearms would also need to purchase a gun insurance policy to ensure that they have a minimum level of liability coverage.
The Firearm Risk Protection Act was opened up to Congress on Friday and would require insurance policies.
This gun insurance coverage would need to be in place before a consumer would be able to legally purchase a weapon. Moreover, if adequate liability insurance was not purchased and a gun owner is discovered not to have it, he or she could be fined as much as$10,000. There would be some exceptions to this rule. Among them would be law enforcement officers as well as service members. They would not need to have this liability coverage in place in order to own their firearms.
Rep. Maloney said that this type of gun insurance would help to encourage responsibility among owners.
She explained that “We require insurance to own a car, but no such requirement exists for guns,” adding that “The results are clear: car fatalities have declined by 25 percent in the last decade, but gun fatalities continue to rise.”
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According to Maloney, the benefit is comparable to the auto insurance industry, where insurers incentivize motorists to take added precautions in order to lower their risk of being involved in a collision. However, when it comes to firearm ownership, there has yet to be any equivalent type of incentive to take steps toward safety.
Maloney said that “An insurance requirement would allow the free market to encourage cautious behavior and help save lives.” She also said that if this type of gun liability insurance was in place, then it would help to make certain that when there is a victim of gun violence, that person and his or her family can be fairly compensated. This represents the second time that this gun insurance legislation has been introduced by Maloney in congress. She has also previously reintroduced legislation that would make background checks a requirement when firearms are purchased at gun shows.