Weekly Spotlight 2/2/24 – 2/8/24
State efforts to place massive liability insurance requirements onto gun owners are misguided
From coast to coast, anti-gun politicians are seeking new ways to further restrict the liberties of law-abiding gun owners. In addition to attempts to cut off access to training, two U.S. states are pushing new legislation that would place burdensome regulations onto those seeking to protect themselves. The state legislatures in Maryland and Washington, which both have relatively strict gun control laws in place already, have introduced bills that would require gun owners to carry massive liability insurance policies in order to own a gun or carry it in public. Thus, this requirement would impose a financial burden onto law-abiding citizens who are exercising a fundamental constitutional right.
Proponents of these measures say they’re aimed at promoting responsible firearm ownership, but responsible gun owners in these states are already forced to go through hours, if not days, of education and training before being able to obtain a concealed carry permit. Making liability insurance would have no impact on how lawful gun owners, who are among the most law-abiding citizens in the nation, would have no impact on their personal responsibility. Does paying for car insurance every month inherently make a driver who is prone to texting and driving more responsible? Absolutely not.
Furthermore, the liability insurance requirement places a barrier between those with limited financial means and the ability to exercise the inherent right to self-defense. People with lower incomes could struggle to pay the costs associated with liability insurance, especially for the $300,000 minimum policies that the Maryland bill would require. That means that only those with higher incomes will be able to lawfully own and possess a firearm. When it comes to laws that impact core constitutional rights, lawmakers should not be playing favorites this way.
Lastly, like the vast majority of gun control proposals, requiring liability insurance would do nothing to address violent crime. Criminals by definition do not follow the law, and it stands to reason that there’s no scenario in which they’d comply with liability insurance requirements. Instead, Maryland and Washington’s proposals would exclusively impact law-abiding citizens, creating an undue burden on them without addressing the core issue of criminals breaking the law and harming others.
In sum, law-abiding, responsible gun owners do not need the government forcing them to purchase insurance in order to keep themselves or their community safe, and these proposals would only ensure that the fundamental right to self-defense is reserved for those who can afford the financial burden. That is not right. The USCCA-FSL Action Fund will be monitoring these bills as they progress through their respective legislatures, and we encourage responsible gun owners in Maryland and Washington to get involved in the political process and speak out against this harmful legislation.
OTHER NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
- Washington Examiner: Top Anti-Gun Groups Back Biden ATF Rule Against Popular AR Pistols
Four of the nation’s top gun control advocates have joined the effort by President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate, tax, and eventually snuff out one of the most popular firearms in America, the AR pistol. The groups said today that they filed a third-party brief in support of an appeal to a federal court’s earlier decision to ice a new rule from the ATF that would essentially ban the gun.
- Breitbart: ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban, 2 Week Waiting Period On Gun Purchases Being Pushed By NM Democrats
Democrats in New Mexico’s House of Representatives are weighing an “assault weapons” ban and two-week waiting period on gun purchases, along with other requirements that closely mirror controls that have been in place in California for years. On January 13, 2024, Breitbart News reported that New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) was pushing the two week waiting period and other controls, including the ability for New Mexicans to sue gun manufacturers.
- FOX 8 (North Carolina): Possible Changes On The Way For Concealed Carry Instruction In North Carolina
Some changes could be coming to the training process to receive a permit to conceal carry a handgun. A state commission that oversees training is considering a mandate for the so-called red book for each student. Members of the North Carolina Concealed Carry Instructors Association are voicing strong opposition to the proposal. “In 30 years, 900,000 people have received their concealed carry handgun permit in North Carolina, they’ve never required the book as being mandatory,” said Stephen Xavier, the VP of Communications for NCCCIA.
South Carolina is moving closer to joining the 27 states that have restored Constitutional (permitless) Carry. In all 27 states, the vast majority of adults can carry loaded handguns in most public places without asking the government for permission to do so. Florida’s permitless carry law does not allow for general open carry. Some of the 27 states have some places where carry with a permit is allowed, and carry without a permit is not.