A new state senator from Encinitas teamed with a Capitol veteran Thursday to introduce legislation requiring California gun owners to have liability insurance.
Sen. Catherine Blakespear, the former mayor of Encinitas, joined Sen. Nancy Skinner of the Berkeley area on Senate Bill 8, which would mandate gun owners have liability insurance to cover injuries or damage from negligent or accidental firing.
The new legislation follows recent mass shootings in Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay and other California communities.
“Firearms are similar to cars in that they are inherently dangerous and are in wide circulation. If a car accidentally causes injury to a person or property, the insurance policy will compensate the victim. The same approach should apply to injuries caused by guns,” said Blakespear.
The legislation would make gun owners civilly liable for property damage, injury or death resulting from the use of their firearms. They would have to obtain liability insurance and carry proof of it.
If enacted, the bill would make California the first state in the nation to adopt such legislation.
The bill is modeled after the city of San Jose’s new gun liability insurance law, which went into effect Jan. 1.