New bill would require gun owners to carry liability insurance

New bill would require gun owners to carry liability insurance

The insurance would cover damage or injuries caused by your weapon.
Insurance is required by law to own and drive a car. It protects the vehicle's owner in the event of an accident or theft.

But, have you heard about gun liability insurance?

A new bill proposed in the State Assembly, would require all gun owners to have it.

If you get into an accident in your vehicle and you're at fault, your insurance covers property damage and injuries.

This new legislation would be similar to that, but it's for your guns.

AB 231 would require anyone who owns a gun in California to buy special liability insurance. That covers damage or injuries caused by your gun. At face value, that could sound reasonable, but another California law gets in the way.

"It claims to be a public safety law. But, in California like in many other states, you can't insure intentional acts. So, if someone intentionally shoots someone else, this insurance cannot cover that situation," said local attorney Thomas Brill.

If you leave your gun out and someone picks it up and shoots someone, liability insurance could cover their injuries or damage caused by negligence.

But, depending on your homeowner's insurance, many people are already covered in those situations.

According to attorney Thomas Brill, in most cases you can only be held liable if you are negligent.

So, if someone steals your locked up gun and shoots someone, in many cases you would not be liable. So, you might ask why the state would require new insurance on something you may already be covered for?

"I think it's one more step in the way of gun control and make it tougher for the responsible citizen to do the right thing," said Robert Dalessio, Second Amendment Sports.

The insurance would cost legal gun owners more money, potentially making the price of gun ownership too high for some people.

But, some say it could actually be a good thing.

"If somebody was to get access to a gun and cut the lock, a cable lock, and take that gun from you, if you are responsible for it and you had some sort of liability insurance, it could save a lot of court costs for the state and for the individual," said gun owner, Richard Amcelyea.

The bill's details have not been released. So, it is unclear how far this bill would go to protect safety, how much it would cost, or if it will address issues caused by other California laws.
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