Over the past few weeks, media outlets such as Fox News, the Huffington Post, and the Economist have weighed in on the prospect of mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, similar to the current requirement for motor vehicle insurance in most states.
The CDC estimates that in 2000, approximately $822 million in damages were caused by gunshot injuries. So the argument in support of insurance alleges that there is a significant risk of potential injuries, and thus ensuing claims and lawsuits. Insurers would be able to assess this risk and pass the cost for such claims onto the owners of the firearms, as opposed to the injured parties of health care system. As Jonathan Diamond suggested in his editorial in the Huffington Post, “(r)equiring owners of firearms to carry, say, $1 million in liability insurance … would offer recourse to those affected by gun violence, and it would raise the bar of responsibility for gun owners.”
Opponents claim this is simply a tactic to increase the cost of gun ownership in order to serve as a deterrent.
Individual states have already begun to propose their own legislation, such as California and Illinois cited in the above-referenced articles.
Thanks to Brian Gibbons for his contribution to this post.