Prospective gun owners in Washington, D.C., may be in for a surprise if a proposed bill gains the local council’s support. The prospective law would require that those who wish to license a gun purchase a $250,000 liability insurance policy.
The D.C. Council is currently considering the proposal, which would mandate coverage for negligent and intentional acts not taken in self-defense. Introduced by Democratic Councilmember Mary Cheh, CBS D.C. reports that the bill will be discussed in committee later today.
Rather than impacting only those who wish to purchase a gun, the bill would also require citizens who already have licenses to obtain liability insurance. Its intent is to provide compensation to individuals who are harmed as a result of gun violence.
“These are instrumentalities that, if mishandled or allow others access or mishandling, can cause great harm,” Cheh said in an interview with WTTF-TV.
Critics are speaking out against the proposal, noting the cost it will impose on gun owners. It’s currently unclear how much a $250,000 liability insurance policy would cost, but Cheh also said that she is open to lowering the coverage amount, pending it is too expensive.
“I don’t mean it to be a centrifuge as a ban,” she said in response to those who may accuse her of creating a barrier to gun ownership. “I want it to really be insurance.”
While insurance would surely help victims of gun violence, there is a gaping hole in the proposal, as crimes committed with an illegal firearm potentially wouldn’t yield coverage for victims (i.e. people who own guns illegally likely won’t have mandated insurance). Still, the proposal is an intriguing one that supporters are comparing to home or car insurance.
What do you think of mandatory gun insurance? Let us know, below.
(H/T: CBS D.C.)
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