San Jose Will Tax Gun Owners To Pay For Costs Of Gun Violence

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

San Jose Will Tax Gun Owners To Pay For Costs Of Gun Violence

San Jose has just passed 2 new gun control measures that the nation has never seen before.

At the end of May, the Bay Area was rocked by a mass shooting at a VTA maintenance yard in downtown San Jose, that left 10 people dead including the shooter. Just over a month later on June 29, the City of San Jose unanimously passed 2 landmark gun control measures that already have gun owners up in arms.

One new measure imposes mandatory liability insurance on gun owners. A second measure requires all gun owners to pay an annual tax. The measure do not establish a specific amount, but the Pacific Institute For Research and Evaluation estimates that taxpayers paid $422 million annually between 2013-2019 for the impacts of gun violence. They say that gunfire “kills or results in the hospital treatment of 205 San Jose residents” each year.

“The City council agreed that while the Second Amendment protects the rights of Americans to own guns, it doesn’t require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership,” wrote San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on Twitter. “This is a landmark decision for taking action against gun violence.”

Gun Owners of California, a group dedicated to defending the 2nd amendment, released a statement in response to the laws’ passing. “There are so many things wrong with this that it’s tough to know where to begin,” said Executive Director Sam Paredes.  “Can residents of San Jose expect a door-to-door check from city inspectors asking about guns in the home?  This sounds more like pre-World War II Poland than the United States.”


Mayor Sam Liccardo maintains that these new laws will achieve landmark progress in the state and beyond. “We won’t magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it. We can also better care for its victims, and reduce gun-related injuries and death through sensible interventions,” he said in a press release.


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