SACRAMENTO, Calif (January 18, 2023) --- As a champion of sensible gun laws and Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair, Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) is introducing a bill focused on holding reckless gun owners accountable for the destruction and death they cause. This bill would make individuals who own a gun civilly liable for each incidence of property damage, bodily injury, or death resulting from firearm use. It would also require a person who owns a firearm to obtain and continuously maintain a homeowner's, renter's, or gun liability insurance policy specifically covering losses or damages resulting from any negligent or accidental use of that firearm.
"I am hopeful that this bill will create more equity in our communities that are affected the most and hold those who use guns recklessly financially responsible," said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson). "I am heartbroken and pray for all the individuals who have been impacted by gun violence. My constituents do not deserve to have their lives financially ruined because of reckless gun owners. Time and time again, we see our communities shot up, and our brothers and sisters injured or even killed. But instead of holding the aggressors responsible, the victims, our community, and the taxpayers are stuck with the financial burden of fixing things up. Enough is enough, we need gun owners to be insured, so our most vulnerable populations are safeguarded from these acts of senseless destruction."
In any given year, gun violence in America kills 40,000 people, injures twice as many, and costs Americans nearly $557 billion. Today, in the United States, gun deaths outnumber vehicle fatalities. However, unlike the requirements for vehicle owners, gun owners are not required to carry liability insurance to cover those costs. Instead, gun violence costs are passed on to taxpayers, survivors, families, employers, and communities.
Car insurance has given car owners a financial incentive to drive more safely, as having a good driving record reduces the cost of insurance premiums. Requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance can incentivize more responsible gun ownership and improve gun safety.
"It is shocking to me that gun liability insurance is not mandated nationwide when firearm deaths are more common than vehicle deaths. That's not even mentioning, intentional and unintentional gun injures, and property damage."