San Jose City Council Approves Gun Insurance Mandate and Annual Gun Fee

The San José City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to create a first-of-its kind mandate for gun insurance, and an annual fee for gun owners aimed at relieving the public cost of gun violence.

The June 29 meeting on gun harm reduction ordinances occurred in the wake of the mass shooting that took nine lives at the Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority yard in May.

Ahead of the vote, the Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation (PIRE) provided preliminary estimates from its  Public Cost of Gun Harm Study for San José. PIRE estimated the cost to taxpayers stemming from gun violence in San José is $442 million annually. This research will be used while evaluating the amount of a fee the city will require from gun owners.

“While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We won't magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it. We can also better care for its victims, and reduce gun-related injuries and death through sensible interventions.”

The council:

  • Approved 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,” city staff reported.

  • Agreed to require fees for gun owners.

City gun users will be required to pay annual fees tol help fund critical emergency medical and police response. The city also will impound weapons “from high-risk individuals unwilling to follow the law.”

Read the rest of the proposed ordinance.  

PIRE is an independent nonprofit organization currently conducting the Public Cost of Gun Harm study through private and philanthropic funding. Any fee imposed by the City of San José will focus entirely on costs to the city. PIRE also s working with Santa Clara County officials to determine final estimates of the public expense, and a more in-depth report is expected.

The preliminary research estimates gun violence in San José costs taxpayers $442 million dollars  between 2013-2019, during which 205 incidents of gun violence occurred. The estimated cost includes: direct out-of-pocket cost to residents ($35 million), lost work ($78 million), and quality of life ($328 million).

Federal, state, and local governments pay almost $40 million for gun violence in San José. Taxpayers contribute to these through costs for emergency response, victim support, tax revenue lost when a victim cannot work, healthcare, and more.



  1. What a bunch of idiotic, ignorant, good for nothing, group of hacks. This is what happens when we put idiots in charge, especially Liccardo. How is this suppose to help end gun violence in San Jose Mr. Mayor Liccardo? Oh that’s right, it doesn’t. You and your cronies simply voted on who to hold financially responsible for the clean up of the ongoing crimes committed by those who obtain guns illegally while you do absolutely nothing to control it.

  2. “While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

    As would be expected of any contemptible predator, Mr. Liccardo has taken aim at residents who are, by nature of their law-abiding ways, defenseless to government-sanctioned assaults on their rights and pocketbooks. They can be expected to, like most victims of blackmail, pay the ransom being demanded for the safe return of their rights.

    Targeting the defenseless, even among people in the most desperate of circumstances, is a telltale trait of the cowardly; loathsome characters of the kind who’d prey on the unconscious (be it taking pocket change from a wino or advantage of an unconscious female). That the mayor’s efforts will unlikely stand judicial challenge matters not, for in an era when absurd stunts grab headlines and obscure political incompetence, this piece of legislative crap represents mission accomplished.

    As a law-abiding gun owner, I take personal the mayor’s attempt to link me with, and penalize me for, gun violence that is far and away more attributable to the city’s habitually-criminal element (including the illegal aliens to whom he provides sanctuary) than it is to the group to which, for now, I belong.

  3. Fiscall Conservatives should strongly SUPPORT Mayor Liccardo and the City of San Jose for taking an important step to slow gun violence in our community by acknowledging there is a very real financial burden that gun violence inflicts on our city and region. It is long PAST the time when those that the direct costs of gun violence (police response, ambulence transport, medical costs) be covered by insurance paid for by those same persons choosing to own guns, while incentivizing safer behavior such as encouraging use of trigger locks, gun safes, etc.

    In an average year, gun violence in America kills nearly 40,000 people, injures more than twice as many, and costs our nation $280 billion. This staggering figure is higher than the entire US Department of Veterans Affairs’ annual budget. I’m tired of hearing that the problem is so big that nothing can be done. San Jose is the nation’s 10th largest city, and we are showing the rest of the country that we are serious about reducing gun violence and preventing future mass shootings like that which recently took the lives of 9 VTA workers and forever changed our community. Learn more about the Economic cost of gun violence here:

  4. And so, I imagine that when a criminal uses a gun in San Jose, that is not insured, and they have not paid the annual gun fee, those charges will be added to whatever other charges they are facing?
    And, the $442M in costs – where does that estimate come from?
    Does San Jose really think that adding these fees and requirements will change anything? You are only penalizing the lawful. My guess is that most lawful gun owners are NOT the problem.
    The Second Amendment protects gun ownership.
    Maybe we should start charging for the First Amendment too, the Freedom of Speech.

  5. This is scandalous as well as disgusting to people of quality, and Liccardo’s statement about it was just stupid, appealing to the kind of people who would vote him to another, higher “public service” position in addition to making Harris a U.S. Senator or see “Gavin” as Presidential material. It’s a subversive act with its infringement, including the obvious harassment and intimidation of gun owners, with the low-life cost-shifting as another burden, harassment, and intimidation as excrescent icing on the excrescent cake. It’s subversion and slime for political posturing and personal gain at least for one politician.

  6. This is so laughable. They want to call this a common-sense “harm reduction” approach to gun violence? Most that commit gun violence are criminals. This is NOT a common-sense approach to reduce gun violence. Just another stupid idea from our city leaders. Like the idea they came up with to pay the homeless of San Jose cash, our tax dollars, to clean up the trash and drug needles they’ve been littering our city with. Yes, let’s give the homeless cash to purchase more drugs with. Let’s give them incentive to continue littering San Jose. Let’s pay them to do it! Let’s create a reason for homeless elsewhere to come to San Jose. Look at our city! Look at our state! This is what happens when we elect idiots for leaders. Anyhow, a common-sense approach to reduce gun violence would be to crack down on criminals, not law biding citizens.

  7. There is No Way any State becomes so politically lopsided. These people have been cheating in elections for years. California was the test section, they have since taken it nation wide. Wake up America (and all you useful idiots), they will eventually be coming for you too, regardless of how much you suck up to them.

  8. The auto insurance analogy is not only wrong, but stupid. I suspect it has fans like the other scummy parts of what the city wants to do, and Liccardo is counting on these fans of stupidity and immorality by government to vote him into his next government job.

  9. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” — 2nd Amendment

    The 2nd Amendment, like others included in the Bill of Rights, identifies rights considered to be essential to protect free men from tyranny. The ability to form a militia, well regulated in defense of freedom, would evaporate were the right of the people to keep and bear arms infringed. In other words, a militia is recognized as the instrument required to keep men free, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is recognized as necessary for its assembly.

    As applied locally, were the government’s assault on the safety and security of its citizens (by intimidating them from defending themselves and their property from criminals) to reach a point considered intolerable, the citizens, already at risk of arrest for self-defense, might come to the realization that they can either defend themselves (and have the government incarcerate them), surrender their safety, or forcefully replace the government. The patriotic choice would obviously require a disciplined effort by a collection of citizens (a militia) to have any chance at success, and would also require each of those citizens to possess arms. This action would, of course, result in Sam Liccardo’s fleeing for the safety of his Saratoga homelands, where he would cower in fear and never be heard from again.

  10. Kulak and his sociopath libertarian bots (NWS, Putanella, Cynthia, Assless, Butter Before and Lucero–what happened to MT Gunn, I wonder?) are again promiscuously displaying their White fragile, hair-trigger proclivities. Don’t they know that almost every dimension of the American system of government required concessions to enable slave-holders and the slave system? The Second Amendment, in particular, was never seen by Madison or any founding father as being about freedom or liberty. Originally it was all about Madison assuaging anti-Federalist holdouts among states dominated by slaveholders.

    The Amendment insured the existence of state-level and state-controlled militias (i.e. slave patrols), rather than exclusively federal militias. Possessing guns was tied explicitly to being part of White only group–a patrol–whose existence was to prevent the escape of slaves to non-slave states and to suppress any possible rebellions among slaves. The fear among slaveholders was that a federal militia, because of the influence of non-slave state officials, would not be a reliable force to robustly and consistently suppress slave uprisings (see

    Anti-Black racism produced by White fear of slave revolts and Black retribution were and are at the very core of U.S. gun laws Prior to 1967 California was an open carry state, like Texas is today–people could legally carry loaded weapons on their person in the open. The Black Panther Party in Oakland strongly supported and used that law to their advantage in the 1960s. To deter wanton police violence against Black residents of Oakland, the Panthers created armed patrols–their very own “well-regulated militias”–who would openly carrying loaded guns near–but at a legal distance–from police stops of local residents. The aim was to “police the police” in order to eliminate excessive violence for which the Oakland police were well known.

    The terror instilled in the minds and hearts of White conservative Republicans and White liberal Democrats all throughout the state resulted in the state legislature overwhelmingly passing, and Governor Ronald Reagan immediately signing, the Mulford Act of 1967. With the firm support of the National Rifle Association, the Act outlawed open carry in the state of California, a law that is with us to this very day. The main point of the law was specifically to disarm the Black Panthers ( Can any of the conceal carry libertarians claim this was a “color blind” public safety decision?

    What do you think accounts for the surge in gun sales in California–and nationally–in 2020? ( Is there any doubt that the surge in anti-racist protests around the country–mobilizations of unprecedented magnitude and duration involving Black Americans–stimulated a lot of nervous White people (and perhaps others) to buy more guns?

    So let’s dispense with the glorification of constitutional laws and regulations whose original intent was to enable and protect the slave system and slaveholders (think Electoral College) (

  11. “The Amendment insured the existence of state-level and state-controlled militias (i.e. slave patrols), rather than exclusively federal militias… Possessing guns was tied explicitly to being part of White only group…” Facendo Guano

    The amendment insures? No, the amendment recognizes, acknowledges, and documents rights seen as to essential to liberty. Early Americans, including some blacks, owned guns, just as they owned axes, plows, and cook pots. But only their right to own firearms was recognized as subject to malicious control (which explains why the ownership of axes, plows, and cook pots went unaddressed). And this recognition was based on the hegemonic nature of man, which is now very much on display in D.C., Sacramento, and here in city hall.

  12. SCOTUS ruling: Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 U.S. (1943)

    Conclusion: No state or public entity may impose a tax or a fee for any Right afforded by the Constitution.

  13. If you are going to tax gun owners and require them to purchase insurance because of the financial impact that guns create for society, how about we do the same for people who smoke or vape?
    Let’s make all smokers pay a fee to register (must show registration to buy tobacco products) as “smokers” and purchase additional insurance to cover the cost of all the inevitable cancers caused by smoking — why should we pay for their risky behavior? While we are at it, obesity is one of the other major cost generators in health care. So, let’s do the same for fat people. Oh, and what about white people? White people trigger anxiety which increases health care cost and leads to early death among non-whites. So, white folks should get registered and insured as well.
    Wow, a fat, white, smoking gun (no pun intended) owner is going to have a seriously high insurance bill.
    Gun insurance is a silly idea passed by silly, preening, political wankers.

  14. This is an unconstitutional waste of time. If it were this easy to ban firearms it would have been done before. What’s to stop the idiots from raising the monthly fees for owning a firearm to $10,000 per month? Answer: The second amendment.

    That said, Sam and the other crazies got their moment of fame. Remember how many times Quack Cody was slapped in the face by the Supreme Court recently? The City Council seems to want to be slapped how.

  15. Oh Steve….

    Unlike a automobiles, gun ownership is enshrined in the Constitution. That’s why impediments to gun ownership may be unconstitutional where impediments to automobile ownership is not.

  16. Oh Steve,

    Supreme Court decisions have defined what the 2nd Amendment text means. Your throwing away applicable Supreme Court decisions and using your own opinions of what the text of the 2nd Amendment ignores the entire purpose of the Judicial Branch of Government.

    The word fanciful comes to mind.

  17. Oh Steve….

    A militia is an organization. To see if organizations have standing to bring suit against infringements upon its members, the Court looks to see if the organization’s members would have standing. If the answer is “yes” then the organization has standing. Vice-versa is true….that members can bring suit on behalf of the organization that they are members of. A militia is not an arm of State Government.

    I must say that you are amazing in your ability to selectively define and articulate the most profound of manufactured premises and then proceed logically to logical but invalid conclusions.

  18. The requirement for insurance is unconstitutional because it converts a right to a privilege.

    And even if it weren’t it wouldn’t have any impact on gun crime. Hard to believe the person who posted that link has passed a bar exam. Can he even read? Insurance doesn’t cover intentional criminal action. That’s why the title of the page at the link is LAWFUL PERSONAL DEFENSE INSURANCE.

  19. You can’t restrict a right. Mr. Liccardo knows that he studied constitutional law.

    Sounds like we need a march on city hall!

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