The California city of San Jose is set to become the first in the United States to enforce an ordinance requiring most gun owners to pay a fee and carry liability insurance.
In a statement on Tuesday night, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the city’s council had voted in favor of both measures, which are aimed at reducing the risk of gun harm and relieving taxpayers of the financial cost of gun violence.
The council overwhelmingly approved the measures despite opposition from gun owners who said it would violate their Second Amendment rights and promised to sue. The ordinance still needs approval at a final reading next month before it can take effect in the Silicon Valley city in August.
The funds generated from fees paid by gun owners will be funneled into “evidence-based initiatives to reduce gun violence and gun harm,” Liccardo said. The fee is expected to be around $25, according to NBC News San Diego.
Meanwhile, having liability insurance is meant to encourage gun owners in San Jose to take safety measures, including having gun safes, installing trigger locks and taking gun safety classes.
Gun owners who do not acquire insurance, however, will not lose their guns or face criminal charges under the new rules.
“Thank you to my council colleagues who continue to show their commitment to reducing gun violence and its devastation in our community,” Liccardo said.
The new measures, he said, will help build a “constitutionally compliant path to mitigate the unnecessary suffering from gun harm in our community.”
The San Jose mayor said he also hoped to support other cities “replicate these initiatives across the nation.”
Liccardo had initially proposed the measures back in June, nearly two weeks after a gunman fatally shot nine coworkers at a San Jose light rail yard before killing himself in an incident that made national headlines.
As the San Jose mayor celebrated Tuesday’s vote, not all were happy with the outcome.
Prior to the vote, Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said his group would sue if the proposal came into effect. He condemned it as “totally unconstitutional in any configuration,” according to NBC San Diego.
Liccardo said attorneys had already volunteered to defend the city pro bono if legal action is taken in response to the new rules.