Mandatory liability insurance for gun owners proposed in DC
Washington D.C. may become the first in the U.S. to make liability insurance for gun owners mandatory. The D.C. Council is currently considering a proposal that would require those that own firearms to purchase and maintain liability insurance coverage. This issue has been gaining more attention in recent months, following a spate of school shootings. Gun control has become a divisive topic throughout the country, with supporters and opponents adopting fairly extreme stances on the issue. The D.C. Council believes that liability insurance requirements may provide an adequate compromise to both parties.
Insurance may be an adequate form of gun control
Many lawmakers consider liability insurance for gun owners a viable form of gun control. Making such coverage mandatory would not stop people from purchasing or owning firearms, but would help provide more control on these firearms. The proposal before the D.C. Council would mandate all gun owners in the District to purchase at least $250,000 in liability coverage for their firearms. These policies would cover all damages that result from negligent or willful acts wherein a firearm is not used in self defense.
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Pricing for liability coverage will be based on perceived risk
While lawmakers can make insurance coverage mandatory, they cannot determine how much insurance coverage should cost. Insurance companies that will be offering liability coverage to gun owners will price their policies based on a consumer’s perceived risk. There are many factors that contribute to calculating this risk, including age, marital status, and some socio-economic factors. Exactly how costly liability insurance policies will be for gun owners is not entirely clear due to the various factors that can influence pricing.
Proposal to be voted on later this year
The proposal before the D.C. Council has its opponents, most of whom claim that making liability insurance coverage mandatory will limit people’s ability to own firearms. These opponents suggest that mandatory coverage is, therefore, unconstitutional. The D.C. Council is expected to vote on the matter later this year. If coverage does become mandatory, gun owners are expected to purchase appropriate policies beginning in 2014.