Taking Guns Away: Liability insurance requirement in New York, Connecticut, California…

I’m starting a new series of articles called Taking Guns Away. For all of you who keep telling people nobody is talking about taking your guns away, you’re tuning a blind eye to facts. Instead of walking into your home and demanding confiscation or mandatory buy-backs, the gun-grabbers will just make it too expensive to own firearms or make them completely worthless in a self-defense situation.

We start this series off with the legislative demand for liability insurance that could cost gun owners upwards of $2,000 per year. Legislation like this is a bullying tactic to bypass the 2nd Amendment. The suggestion “society is paying, so gun owners should pay” is outrageous since I’m quite certain the criminals who are involved in almost all of the violent gun crime in the United States won’t be calling up Progressive, Aetna, Geico or Amica to sign up for a policy. If the estimates of $1,000 to $2,000 per year are close, the only people who will be able to afford to own a firearm are the rich, I don’t think the upper-middle class could afford it. Of course, the estimates of costs are just for owning a firearm, could you imagine the cost for liability insurance if you were carrying?

That said, I have a strong belief based in fact – here, here, here, and here – that firearm owners who have gone through the background checks required to get carry permits are much more law-abiding than the general public. I bet permit holders are better drivers and don’t get convicted of DUI as frequently either. Maybe having a permit should get us a discount on our homeowners and auto policies?

In one example, New York Democrat Felix Ortiz has proposed and drafted legislation demanding all gun owners – except for law enforcement of course – to carry liability insurance.

AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to requiring owners of firearms to obtain liability insurance


Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 2353 to read as follows:

S 2353. Firearm owners insurance policies. 1. Any person in this state who shall own a firearm shall, prior to such ownership, obtain and continuously maintain a policy of liability insurance in an amount not less than one million dollars specifically covering any damages resulting from any negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person. Failure to maintain such insurance shall result in the immediate revocation of such owner’s registration, license and any other privilege to own such firearm.

2. For purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be the owner of a firearm if such firearm is lost or stolen until such loss or theft is reported to the police department or sheriff which has jurisdiction in the county, town, city or village in which such owner resides.

3. Any person who owns a firearm on the effective date of this section shall obtain the insurance required by this section within thirty days of such effective date.

4. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any peace officer who is authorized to carry a firearm.

5. The department is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized to be made and completed on or before such date.

Connecticut lawmakers are taking the first step and have voted to write up draft legislation.

California and other states are doing the same thing.

Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation Tuesday that would require California gun owners to buy liability insurance to cover damages or injuries caused by their weapons.

Similar bills have been introduced in other states after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. They include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York.

“I was moved, like many others, being the father of two young children, by the Sandy Hook incident and looking for constructive ways to manage gun violence here in California as well as the rest of the country,” said Assemblyman Philip Ting of San Francisco, who introduced AB231 along with Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles. “There’s basically a cost that is born by the taxpayers when accidents occur. … I don’t think that taxpayers should be footing those bills.”

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. JBS on February 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I knew this was coming. Liability insurance for firearms owners is a true backdoor way to abridge the Right to keep and bear arms. I notice that it is always bleeding heart Democrats who keep coming up with these schemes to discourage firearms ownership. WA wants registration and yearly police inspections!
    To help put the push in it, these sob-kins add that it is for the children. Not!
    What exactly is the “cost borne by taxpayers?” Cite and source on that claim. I have never heard of a Department of Reimbursement for Firearms Accidents. And, why are cops exempt? Are their guns white and angelic? What happens when a cop retires yet still owns firearms? The ‘crats can’t have it both ways.
    I suspect that accidents which occur on a given property would be covered by homeowner’s insurance. What happens in case of a pool accident — which is much more common?
    Are these politicians (or their cronies) insurance salesmen?

  2. Dimsdale on February 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Fine.? Then let us insist that politicians and the media buy liability insurance for stupid and defamatory statements that they make, i.e Harry Reid’s “invisible friend” that told him that Romney paid no taxes.? Or Joe Biden for, well, anything he utters.? Or Al Gore for being completely unqualified to make any statements about climate change.? Etc., etc., etc.

  3. PatRiot on February 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Having a firearm is insurance.? Probably the only insurance that actually stops a problem (shots fired or not) before it happens.?
    The “cost being borne” by society is the risk value judgement of right to protect yourself and the reasonable expectation of privacy.? The NRA has?asked for mental health info to be included in background checks at least since Virginia Tech.? The gov’t said “no”?due to privacy issues.? Again, the gov’t made the decision, but?deflects the blame to the NRA.?
    The gov’t will not address the issue of illegal drugs, either by winning the war on drugs or making them legal.? Without a?decision, nothing will change for our fellow inner city Americans.? And the thugs that will continue to cause trouble will probably be covered by a “no fault” clause I am sure.

  4. PatRiot on February 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    It is funny how Assemblyman Phillip Ting is “moved” by the single day deaths of 20 predominately white children but not by the far more numerous, almost “acceptable”, (not by me) inner city drug related gun deaths.?
    So, this issue is not really about the deaths.? It must be about taking guns, racism, protectionsism of middle and upper class or some other warped “devaluation?of human life” agenda.

  5. Vizionmusic on February 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I will not PAY an ‘extortionary’ insurance fee- period. ?It’s like I have told many friends and acquaintances….. WHAT guns???? I ain’t got no ‘stinking guns!’….

  6. Steven on February 20, 2013 at 8:25 am

    This will affect the working poor and those who are on assistance and have a firearm in their possession.?? Actually the NRA has liability insurance but you have to look for it – its a rider on other types of insurance they offer through their vendors.?? I doubt the poor will obtain this type of insurance.? Shame on those politicians who would force those who are not as well to do as themselves to have to purchase this insurance.?? It demonstrates well who they care about and who they don’t.

    • PatRiot on February 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Yep.? This is the only protection they can afford.? Alarm systems, dogs, the safety (misconception )in a suburb, gated communities and?armed guards are well beyond the finacnial reach of those in the inner cities and rural areas.?
      And it is those areas that that are higher risk of danger.? The media, scared moms, politicians and media have a? myopic view of life – its all about me.? If they considered others, as the policticians should, their view on adjusting gun laws would be different.

  7. Dimsdale on February 20, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I wonder how many poor people are either put off buying a gun due to the huge permit fees already?? How many people are going to have an unpermitted gun because of this?? Is government creating its own problems?

  8. beekeeper925 on February 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I may be wrong and it will take some time, but I think any requirement such as this will be declared unconstitutional. There is always the option of not complying. Does CT have the money to build the prisons to hold all the new felons they have just created? We can always read the Declaration of Independence and “alter or abolish” the current government as they did in 1776!

  9. hockey11000 on February 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Spend your money on ammunition stockpiles before Homeland Security drives up the price.? No insurance company offers or will offer this kind of policy.? It will have to be a state issued policy.? These people are nuts.? Stay well armed my friend.

    • JBS on February 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      I stopped at a large gun store today. I had to wait for a parking place.
      .223/5.56x45mm ammo was in limited supply. 2 box maximum purchase, $18.99 per box of 20 rounds. Two boxes (40 rounds) with tax would be, $40.39.
      Fifteen minutes later, the shelf was bare . . . This what Obama wants. You can keep your rifle of choice, soon you just won’t be able to find ammo at any price.
      That is the effect of the government buying approximately 2 billion rounds of ammo.
      This is the liberals conquering armed Americans by siege mentality. Starve ’em of ammunition.
      Then, resistance will be futile.

  10. SeeingRed on February 21, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Everytime I use my canoe I seem to get swamped…just can’t get the hang of?keeping ole tippy canoe upright.? But I keep trying.?? Every time it happens though, my carry weapon ends up at the bottom of the lake/river/Atlantic Ocean.? Kind of like Luca Brasi swimming with the fishes.??
    Insurance?might have helped if I ever want to?replaceme any of them.

  11. yeah on February 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Funny it exempts the only entity that actually probably SHOULD have insurance for firearm discharges – THE POLICE!!!? They have no responsibility whatsoever for where, how, and when their firearm discharges.? Sure there’s “rules in place” but good luck getting past The Blue Line (and lets not leave out The Union designed to keep personal responsibility out of our police stations, government, etc, etc.)? Slap on the wrist with a paid day of leave and back out you go, please try not to hit any plebes!


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