On Thursday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m., Bill 20-170, the “Firearm Insurance Amendment Act,” will be heard by the DC Council Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs. Sponsored by Councilor Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), B20-170 would require D.C. residents to purchase liability insurance, of no less than $250,000, before they are allowed to purchase a firearm. Under B20-170, individuals who currently possess firearms in D.C. would have to purchase insurance within thirty days of the effective date of this bill. The misguided Councilmembers who are championing this bill are doing so in spite of the fact that D.C. already has some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation, yet consistently has one of the highest violent crime rates.
Criminals, by definition, do not follow the laws, especially gun control laws. They do not comply with the firearm registration requirement, the ban on standard capacity magazines, and the ban on certain semi-automatic rifles currently in place. Not only will criminals certainly avoid purchasing liability insurance, there are other problems with mandating liability insurance for firearms owners including:
- It is an affront to law-abiding gun owners—you are not required to carry insurance to exercise any other constitutional right.
- It is economically discriminatory—insurance is expensive and such a mandate could make firearm ownership even more unattainable for law-abiding D.C. residents who have an inherent right to self-defense regardless of income.
That is why it is critical that you attend this hearing on May 16 at 10:00 a.m. to speak in opposition to B20-170. We need you to tell members of the Council Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee that mandating liability insurance fails to address D.C.’s crime, and will only punish responsible gun owners.
Details for next week’s hearing:
Thursday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m.
Room 500, Council Chamber
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004
You can sign up to testify at this hearing by clicking here. All individual testimony will be limited to three minutes and witnesses are asked to bring twenty copies of their written testimony. If you are unable to testify, it is still important that you voice your opinion by contacting members of the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and respectfully urge them to oppose B20-170.
Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee:
Councilor Vincent Orange (D) (At-Large), Chairman
Councilor David Grosso (I) (At-Large)
Councilor Jim Graham (D-Ward 1)
Councilor Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3)
Councilor Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7)