The slippery slope is getting steeper…Gun owners in San Jose, CA, will soon have to deal with a yearly tax and they will be required to carry additional insurance. This comes after their city council voted unanimously to impose the new measures.
The new fee for gun ownership in the city has not yet been determined, but officials have determined that anyone found to be in noncompliance will be subject to having their weapons confiscated.
The city council’s purpose, they say, is to try to recoup the cost of responding to gun incidents. According to the Pacific Council on Research and Evaluation, gun-related incidents cost the city roughly $63 million every year. This is directed at paying for police officers, medics and other expenses, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
The new measures are likely a reaction to a disgruntled Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority employee who gunned down and killed nine colleagues at a San Jose rail yard just weeks before this decision.
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San Jose-based FOX 2 reported that citizens have responded to the proposal, some praised the council for the measure and others condemned the move as unconstitutional.
“I strongly oppose more taxation on legal gun owners,” San Jose resident Sasha Sherman said. “Each time a gun owner buys ammunition, they pay an 11% tax, plus a background check fee.”
Another citizen said, “It puts a financial burden on a constitutional right, which is the right to bear arms.”
The council went ahead and directed staffers to draft up the law for a final September vote even though the dollar amount on the new tax for gun owners has not yet been determined.
The measures are part of gun control reforms that the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, has been working on for almost two years. He first introduced the idea of gun owner insurance in 2019 after the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. The plan was shelved in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.
Liccardo brought back his gun control measures just weeks after the mass shooting at a VTA rail yard.
The city already passed one of the mayors plans two weeks ago, which requires all purchases at gun shops to be video and audio recorded.
Mayor Liccardo, suggested the new annual fine will likely be “a couple dozen dollars,” and claimed insurers assured the city that firearms owners adding gun liability coverage to existing policies would cost the affected citizens little or nothing.
Because enforcing this will be difficult due to the fact that there is no official registry of gun owners either locally or federally, officials said they would authorize any law enforcement officers to confiscate the firearms of any gun owner they stumble upon who does not provide proof that they have complied.
“The council has made clear that while the Second Amendment certainly protects the right for every citizen to own a gun, it does not mandate that taxpayers subsidize that right,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a news conference Wednesday.
“Crooks aren’t going to follow this law,” Liccardo told reporters. “When those crooks are confronted by police and a gun is identified, and if they haven’t paid the fee or insurance, it’s a lawful basis for seizure of that gun.”
Liccardo is “quite confident” the city will win any legal challenges.
“When it comes to sensible gun regulation, no good deed goes unlitigated,” he said Wednesday. “It’s fair to say there’s going to be a very active effort on the part of the legal community here in the Bay Area to ensure that whatever we pass is appropriately defended.”