Fresno lawmakers, gun owners talk gun liability insurance ordinance, proposed by San Jose mayor

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Valley gun owners and lawmakers speaking out on a proposed ordinance, that would require all gun owners in one California city to buy insurance for their guns.

The mayor of San Jose making the first-of-its-kind proposal, after two San Jose residents were killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

The idea already sparking controversy.

To Jacob Belemjian, owner of The Firing Line in Clovis, insurance on a gun is a ploy for cash.

“This is just another way for them to tax or take money, from a group whom they don’t like,” Belemjian said.

San Jose’s mayor making the proposal Monday, in his mind, a ploy for peace.

The liability insurance would not cover any personal use, but rather if someone steals your weapon, or any “accidental discharges.”

“How are they going to collect on that insurance, they’re not,” Belemjian said. “It’s a tax.

“They’re going to take that money, and they’re going to spend it on what they want.”

Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria says, she agrees there’s a need for action.

“We have a national epidemic, and that requires a national solution,” Soria said.

But this proposal, may not be the best way.

“Congress has failed to act, that is the reality,” Soria said. “And we need a president that is going to stand up and represent the families that were most recently impacted by gun violence and shootings.”

Soria says, while California has raised the bar, she wants national background checks and to restore the assault rifle ban.

“We can’t control what Nevada, we can’t control what Texas is doing, that’s why we need federal policy,” Soria said.

Attorney David Mugridge says, the regulation may not be legal.

“To require somebody to have insurance to own or possess a weapon, is probably going to be found to be unconstitutional,” Mugridge said. “It is a grandstanding motion, to try to think that insurance on gun ownership, is going to do anything at all.”

Belemjian, believes something else has to change with the times.

“They can regulate the guns all they want, and it’s not going to do a darn bit of good,” Belemjian said. “The problem is people’s minds.”

According to San Jose’s mayor, the money would go to offset the costs associated with gun violence, as far as law enforcement response and help for victims.

The San Jose City Council, will hear the presentation after a preliminary approval, Wednesday.

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