Several lawmakers have introduced a renewed push for a national firearm insurance act, called the Firearm Risk Protection Act. According to a press release, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) and eight other cosponsors have thrown their weight behind the proposal late last month.
“For too long, gun victims and society at large have borne the brunt of the costs of gun violence,” Maloney said in a statement. “My bill would change that by shifting some of that cost back onto those who own the weapons.”
Maloney stands firm behind the bill and is continuing to work with other politicians to advance the act. She says that the bill will, “require that gun owners carry liability insurance, just like car owners, to give innocent victims of gun violence some recourse if they are injured. 100,000 Americans are injured by guns every year. Carrying insurance is the responsible thing to do.”
The act, H.R 1369, requires the purchase of liability insurance coverage before buying a firearm. Gun owners who do not purchase liability insurance could face up to a $10,000 fine. Members of the armed services and law enforcement are exempt from this act.
Several states have introduced their own firearm liability legislation, including Maloney’s home state of New York. These proposals have not gone far past their introduction and some have been withdrawn due to overwhelming disapproval.
A similar insurance bill in Illinois–which required a $1 million liability coverage–was shot down earlier this year. Fox News reports that the lead supporter of the Illinois bill, Representative Kenneth Dunkin (D-Chicago), stated the price of insurance to be from $500 to $2,000. Opponents of the bill successfully argued that the coverage was too expensive for many gun owners and the bill was shelved after a 34-74 vote in the House.
Political experts believe that Maloney’s bill will face a similarly difficult fight.