San Jose mayor unveils new plan for gun liability insurance and video recorded gun sales
SAN JOSÉ, CA – (NEWS RELEASE / SAN JOSE MAYOR’S OFFICE) – San José continues to recover from a tragic mass shooting that took nine lives at the Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) yard, yet in the 13 days since, San José has experienced 8 more gun-related acts of violence, including 3 more homicides, one officer-involved shooting of an individual armed with a handgun, and 4 shooting-related injuries. Mayor Sam Liccardo, along with Vice Mayor Chappie Jones (D-1), Councilmembers Raul Peralez (D-3) (who was not present), David Cohen (D-4), Magdalena Carrasco (D-5), announced a series of proposals to undertake a common-sense “harm reduction” approach to gun violence. They were joined at a press conference by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, Moms Demand Action volunteer Yvonne Murray, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Litigation AttorneyEsther Sanchez-Gomez, and Co-President of the Winchester/Cadillac Project Hope Association, Maria Ines Ortega.
- Reducing Gun Harm through an Insurance Mandate: Insurance-based mechanisms can encourage firearm owners to behave more safely–by taking safety classes, using gun safes, installing trigger locks–and can compensate injured victims. Insurers have long used risk-adjusted premiums to reward good driving and incentivize use of airbags and other safety features, reducing per-mile auto fatalities by 80% in four decades. Similar approaches can mitigate gun risk, since4.6 million children live in a household where a gun is kept unlocked and loaded, and nearly 500 Americans also die from preventable, unintentional shootings every year, including many children.
- Reducing the Public Cost of Gun Violence: Direct costs of gun violence to California taxpayers for gunshot-related medical treatment, police response, ambulance transport, and the like exceeded $1.4 billion in 2018. Taxpayers should not subsidize the cost of the harm resulting from gun use. Requiring gun users to pay fees will help fund critical emergency medical and police response and reduce taxpayer burdens.
- Impounding Guns from Those Who Don’t Comply: Of course, criminals won’t obey these mandates. Yet together, these rules create a constitutionally-compliant mechanism to enable law enforcement to impound guns from high-risk individuals unwilling to follow the law.
- Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO): Increasing public education, updating law enforcement training, and sponsoring state legislation to strengthen compliance with GVRO’s, and to enhance sanctions for willful violations.
- Assault Weapons Ban: San José invites other cities to join its amicus brief to support an appeal to the recent Miller v. Bonta decision, which overturned California’s 32-year-old ban on assault weapons.
- Ghost Guns: San José will implement an ordinance to fill a gap in state law, making it illegal in San José to possess, manufacture, or assemble a “ghost gun” — an untraceable firearm, lacking any serial number, that owners can buy online and assemble at home.
- Straw Purchasing and Suicide Prevention: In weeks, Council will consider a final ordinance requiring gun stores to video and audio-record all gun sale transactions to reduce the number of illicit straw-purchases, staff training, and posting of information about suicide prevention and access to mental health services.
- Ammunition Checks: If pending federal litigation results in overturning the 2016 California mandate for background checks on all ammunition purchasers, San José will move forward on a specific mandate to require fingerprinting with all ammunition purchases.
- “Looking Out for One Another”: Partner with regional leaders to create a public campaign encouraging reporting of implied or explicit threats of violence to enable preventative interventions by mental health authorities or law enforcement.
- Gun Buy-Back Programs: Host more gun buy-backs in partnership with other local levels of government, non-profit and private partners.
- Leveraging Federal Information for Early Intervention: Convene a meeting between the San José Police Department, the District Attorney, and local Federal Bureau of Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, DEA, DHS, and U.S. Customs and Border Control to create better sharing information protocols for high-risk individuals.
“Preventing gun violence is the number one issue for me. For every life lost at the hand of a gun, a dream is shattered, a family is impacted, and hearts are broken. We must act. I support Mayor Liccardo’s common-sense measures to protect the San José community from further consequences of gun harm. Together we’re unstoppable, and I hope other cities will join in this fight to take action against senseless gun violence.”
“Our law enforcement community is ready and willing to use our red flag law to remove guns from those who are a danger to themselves or others. We need everyone, all of us, to raise the alarm and call 911 so that the next mass shooting never happens.”
“America’s gun culture has produced a violent history of mass shootings, countless deaths, and endless victims. Gun violence can touch anyone at any time. As the leaders of this great city, we are committed to doing everything within our power to reduce gun violence by any means necessary.”
“Recent tragedies such as the VTA and Gilroy mass shootings have shown that no one is protected from gun violence. While no measure can bring any of our lost loved ones back, we can ensure that the steps we take moving forward will reduce gun related tragedies in our City. One life lost to gun violence is one too many and as a gun owner myself I stand committed to sensible measures that will reduce gun violence and save lives in San Jose.”
“Now is the time for bold action. We must be resolute and act with determination, especially in light of those lost and countless lives affected by the VTA tragedy. I have no doubt ensuring all gun owners are responsible will save lives and we can no longer wait for others to solve this problem for us. Our city can be a model for others to follow.”
“There is only tragedy to be had when guns and Domestic Violence intersect. DV cuts across socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation and the presence of guns in an already hostile domestic violence situation increases the likelihood of loss of life by 500%. We cannot allow guns and gun violence to rule over our most vulnerable community. We need to make sure guns are out of reach from those who pose a threat to our community.”
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