The city of San Jose, California, will require gun owners to pay a yearly fee and purchase liability insurance.
A new law would make San Jose the first city in the nation to require owners of firearms to have insurance and pay fees to relieve taxpayers of the costs of responding to gun violence, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The city council voted unanimously to draft the law on Tuesday.
The move comes about a month after a gunman killed nine workers at a rail yard in San Jose.
The gunman shot himself as police closed in on him. The shooter and the nine victims were employees of the transit agency situated near the city's airport.
"Grieving communities don't have the luxury of forgetting," Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose wrote in a column posted by CNN on June 15. "We live among devastated family members, we hear the echoes of painful eulogies, and we work with traumatized friends.
"I joined several colleagues to propose a comprehensive set of initiatives to reduce gun-related harm in San Jose.
"These proposals include two measures that no other city nor state in the United States has ever tried: mandatory gun insurance to support victims, and mandatory gun fees to compensate taxpayers. As with many other Silicon Valley innovations, we intend to implement and test these ideas, learn from our mistakes, improve, iterate and provide a platform for others to scale them to benefit their own communities.
"We will require every gun owner in my city to have liability insurance, regardless of where they purchased their gun. Insurance compensates the victims of unintentional gun harm -- which annually injures 27,000 Americans and claims the lives of 500 more -- paying medical bills, rehabilitative needs, and tragically, funeral expenses.
"We will require gun owners to pay a modest annual fee to compensate taxpayers for the cost of gun-related violence. Every day, our residents bear the financial burden for police officers who bravely respond to shootings, for ambulances that transport the wounded, and for trauma surgeons to save them."
It is uncertain just how much the fees will be, but the Chronicle reported that Liccardo said it would probably be "a couple dozen dollars" and would not be charged to those who could not afford it.
Fox News noted that officials said that anyone found to be in noncompliance will have their weapons confiscated.
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