Anti-gun New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney today introduced legislation that would mandate liability insurance for gun owners and fine them up to $10,000 if they don’t have it, according to The Hill.
Dubbed the Firearm Risk Protection Act, this is the second time around for Maloney’s bill, the newspaper noted. It follows on the heels of another anti-gun measure introduced by Maloney, the so-called “Gun Show Loophole Closing Act.”
UPDATE: The Washington Times also has a story posted on this legislation.
Maloney, a Democrat, issued a statement justifying her bill with the notation that people are required to have insurance on their cars, and the same should be true about firearms, but currently that’s not the case. She asserted that automobile fatalities have declined 25 percent in the past decade, but firearms fatalities “continue to rise.”
The most recent data available from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for the years from 2009 to 2013 shows a decline in the number of firearms-related homicides. Also, data from the Centers for Disease and Control shows that suicide by firearm accounts for just over 50 percent of all suicides.
Efforts like Maloney’s distract attention away from what may be the more important issue: Firearms thefts and the illicit trade in hot guns. That was underscored in a report published today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, quoting St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.
According to Dotson, most stolen guns are taken from vehicles, the newspaper reported. One of the contributing factors to this is the so-called “gun-free zone” that prohibits law-abiding citizens from carrying their defensive sidearms into such venues as Busch Stadium. The chief said people leave firearms unsecured in their cars.
“Criminals have figured this out,” he told the newspaper, explaining that often in car break-ins, the gun is the only thing taken. “That’s what they’re looking for.”
The “gun-free zone” is a myth created by liberal anti-gunners that now appears to be contributing to the illegal traffic in firearms. That’s a problem that no background check mandate will solve, and the gun prohibition lobby knows it. By forcing people to leave their firearms in their vehicles while they dine, or attend a sporting event, school function or visit a sick family member or friend in the hospital, those firearms are vulnerable to criminal theft.
Dotson told the newspaper that many of the guns his officers are now seizing are confirmed stolen or have had the serial numbers filed or ground off. The chief suggested that gun owners could equip their vehicles with lock boxes.
Anti-gunners would be happy for people to leave their guns at home, but firearms aren’t always safe, there, either. Examiner knows of cases where guns stored in locked boxes, small safes and security cabinets have been stolen and later recovered in crimes.
Of the approximately 32,000 to 33,000 deaths involving firearms in any given year, about 60 percent are suicides. A small percentage are accidents and the rest are homicides, according to an analysis at one conservative website, About News. It’s not clear how forcing liability insurance on someone will prevent a suicide or an accident, nor did Maloney explain how her proposal would cut down on gang- and drug-related homicides, typically committed by people with criminal records who aren’t legally allowed to have firearms.
A raft of gun laws already on the books didn’t prevent these miscreants from getting their hands on guns, so one more law like Maloney’s proposal probably will not impress anybody. It could make insurance companies rich, and be prohibitively expensive for many gun owners, so perhaps the idea is to add one more layer of discouragement to the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
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