Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Koretz, 5th District; Paul Krekorian, 2nd District; and Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, introduced a motion on Feb. 2 asking the city attorney to explore the implementation of an ordinance that would require gun owners in Los Angeles to carry firearm liability insurance, similar to a proposed ordinance recently implemented by the city of San Jose.
The new ordinance would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance through their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, and pay an annual fee that would go toward evidence-based initiatives to reduce gun violence and gun harm.
“Not every household has a gun, and while not all communities experience high levels of gun violence, we all bear the economic burden of injuries and deaths caused by firearms,” Koretz said. “Insurance-based systems can encourage firearm owners to take safety classes, ensure guns are safely stored, install trigger locks or utilize loaded chamber indicators. Just like auto insurers use risk-adjusted premiums to reward good driving and encourage the use of airbags and other safety features, reducing per-mile auto fatalities by 80% in four decades, we need a similar approach to address the risks posed by guns.”
“Gun violence in Los Angeles inflicts a catastrophic and unnecessary toll on people’s lives, in addition to costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year,” O’Farrell added. “We must bring the epidemic of gun violence under control, and that means looking at every possible reform. Angelenos deserve a safe city.”
The officials said nearly 1.17 million new firearms were registered in 2020 in California, with handgun sales up 65.5% from the previous year. In 2021, the city of Los Angeles had 397 homicides, up 11.8% from the 355 homicides the previous year and 53.9% from the 258 homicides in 2019, according to LAPD statistics. The number was the highest since 2007 when the city recorded 395 homicides. The Los Angeles Police Department also reported 1,459 victims were shot in 2021, a 54.2% increase over 2019, when 946 people were shot in Los Angeles.
Nationally, 75% of school shootings are committed by children who have access to unsecured or unsupervised guns at home. Over 80% of teens who commit suicide with a gun used one that belonged to someone in their home, and every day eight children are shot with an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home, the officials said.
“This reasonable move will promote the use of common sense measures to keep families and neighbors safe,” Krekorian added. “This ordinance will go hand in hand with a law I wrote in 2015 that requires all handgun owners in Los Angeles to lock their guns or disable them with a trigger lock when kept in the home.”
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