Councilmen aim to require liability insurance for LA gun owners
Three Los Angeles city councilmen introduced a motion Wednesday to explore a potential ordinance to require gun owners in Los Angeles to carry firearm liability insurance.
The motion was introduced Wednesday by councilmen Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian and Mitch O’Farrell.
The ordinance would be modeled after one in San Jose that requires liability insurance through homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. That ordinance also requires an annual fee that is used for evidence-based initiatives that aim to reduce gun violence.
“Not every household has a gun, and while not all communities experience high levels of gun violence, we all bear the economic burden of injuries and deaths caused by firearms,” Koretz said.
The councilmen said in the motion that insurance would encourage people who own firearms to take safety courses, make sure firearms are properly stored and secured, install trigger locks and use loaded chamber indicators. The motion highlighted auto insurance’s risk-adjusted premiums that reward good driving as an example of how insurance can lead to safer practices.
“We need a similar approach to address the risks posed by guns,” the motion stated.
The councilmen noted that California saw an additional 1.17 million new firearms registered in 2020. Last year, 1,469 people were shot in Los Angeles, a 54.2% increase from 2019.
“This reasonable move will promote the use of common sense measures to keep families and neighbors safe,” Krekorian said. “This ordinance will go hand in hand with a law I wrote in 2015 that requires all handgun owners in Los Angeles to lock their guns or disable them with a trigger lock when kept in the home. I look forward to a swift analysis from the city attorney.”
The motion also noted that school shootings are carried out 75% of the time by children who have access to unsecured and unsupervised firearms at home. Improperly stored and misused firearms also allow eight children to be shot each day, and more than 80% of teens who kill themselves used a firearm that belonged to a person in their household, according to the motion.