Gun owners in San Jose could face these big fines

Second Amendment

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A new requirement for gun owners in San Jose has the National Rifle Association up in arms.

In February, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and City Councilmembers adopted a new resolution requiring gun owners who live in the city of San Jose to pay a $25 Gun Harm Reduction fee. Now gun owners must also carry documentation which attests that they have paid the fee and that they maintain an insurance policy which covers any firearm-related death, injury or even property damage.

Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose, California, speaks alongside Brooklyn Borough President and New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams (R) and other local and law enforcement officials to the media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC, July 12, 2021, after attending a meeting with US President Joe Biden about reducing gun violence. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the City of San Jose website, the new requirements aim to hold gun owners accountable for the damage that their firearms cause, rather than leaving that financial burden on the victims of gun violence.

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“While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership. We won’t magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it,” Mayor Liccardo stated.

On Tuesday evening, the Mayor and City Council established escalating fine amounts for those who do not meet the requirements. The fines are as follows:

  • $250 – First violation
  • $500 – Second violation within a one-year period from the date of a previous violation
  • $1,000 – Third and subsequent violations within one year from the date of a previous violation

The NRA says these fines won’t curb violence at all. “Criminals are already ignoring California’s hundreds of gun laws, so it’s doubtful many would rush out and get liability insurance,” an NRA spokesperson tells KRON4. “But, even if they did, liability insurance doesn’t cover criminal acts. This amounts to nothing but another tax and fine on law-abiding gun owners.”

According to City Council documents, the earliest that the city anticipates enforcing this requirement is in January 2023. Collection of fines is expected to be “minimal” in the first year of implementation.

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