Guns and Gear

Gun Owners To Pay Yearly Fee, Show Gun Papers On Demand To Police Officers In San Jose

(Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

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A California city will soon require gun owners to pay a yearly fee and buy insurance after the city council voted unanimously Tuesday to pass the new restrictions.

The San Jose City Council voted to require gun owners to get insurance that would cover medical treatment, municipal expenses related to shootings and potential injuries and deaths, police response and ambulances, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

It’s unclear what the fee would total, but Democratic Mayor Sam Liccardo said Wednesday the fee would likely be “a couple dozen dollars” and those who could not afford it would not be required to pay, according to the report. In an op-ed published with CNN, Liccardo said owners would pay a “modest annual fee.”

The city council would also allow law enforcement officers to confiscate firearms from a gun owner if they cannot provide proof of insurance, according to Fox News.

Liccardo claimed this would help crack down on those who illegally own a gun.

“Crooks aren’t going to follow this law,” Liccardo said, according to Fox News. “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.”

“The Second Amendment protects the rights of Americans to own guns,” Liccardo said in a tweet. “But [it] doesn’t require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership.”

“This is a landmark decision for taking action against gun violence,” Liccardo continued.

Liccardo tweeted gun violence in the city costs taxpayers $442 million each year, which he claims translates to $2.2 million in taxes per victim of gun violence.

The Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation claimed that gun-related homicides, suicides and other shootings cost the city $63 million annually, according to the San Francisco report. (RELATED: California City Mandates Videotaping Of Gun Purchases)

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called the new legislation a “victory.” “The San Jose City Council voted for bold solutions to end the gun violence crisis less than 3 months after a mass shooting impacted their community,” the organization tweeted.

Community members, however, opposed the new measures, according to KTVU. “I strongly oppose more taxation on legal gun owners,” Sasha Sherman of San Jose reportedly said. “Each time a gun owner buys ammunition, they pay an 11% tax, plus a background check fee.”

A May shooting at a rail yard in San Jose left ten dead, including the suspected gunman.