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Editorials and blog posts calling for an insurance “fix” to mass shootings are appearing in newspapers and online since the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

(See links:
Advocates push idea of requiring gun insurance
Should Gun Owners Have To Buy Liability Insurance?)

Here’s the argument: Requiring registered gun owners to carry liability insurance in the same way car owners must carry liability insurance will significantly impact gun crime and murders committed using a firearm.

Let me state: I do not own a gun. The only gun I have held in the past 25 years is the BB-gun game in the midway at the state fair. I have no dog in this fight.

Also, while common sense might dictate some sort of restrictions on the size of bullet magazines or types of permitted firearms, my comments do not address the 2nd Amendment, as guns are legal.

Those calling for insurance requirements say a law would increase gun costs, thus reducing their number or at a minimum forcing more safety considerations by owners and makers. A high-powered hunting rifle, for instance, would cost more to insure than a small handgun in the home.

Getting insurance companies involved, they say, will bring a major force into play, because premiums will be based on gun locks, who owns guns, etc., increasing awareness and safety. Some argue that insurance companies that would insure gun owners would cover medical costs of those shot.

If only it were that simple to decrease gun deaths.

Some homeowner’s policies cover guns in homes; some specifically exclude use of weapons, even for self-defense. (The NRA offers self-defense coverage, underwritten by Lockton Affinity.)

But even if coverage were required of registered gun owners – thus bringing carriers and thus agents/brokers into the debate – would crime decrease?

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) statistics show that 93% of all gun crimes in the U.S. involve unregistered guns. Would insurance coverage laws stop those 93%’ers? Or would those with bad intent ignore new laws?

Scofflaws repeatedly drive with no license or insurance, despite laws. In New York alone, more than 100,000 people are arrested each year for driving without a license; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that many of those arrested for driving without a license do so in the commission of another crime.

For purposes of this commentary, I went to a local indoor shooting range to observe only. The high level of safely procedures, educational safety courses, and the serious nature of gun owners I observed regarding safety would embarrass any of us who gets behind the wheel of a 4,000 lb. vehicle and talks on the phone or drinks a soda while our children are in the back seat. Guilty as charged.

Perhaps a law requiring gun owners to prove insurance coverage would be another product in a broker’s portfolio. Perhaps it would only increase costs for law-abiding citizens. But the jury is out if it would have an impact on crime or deaths when guns are used by those intent on breaking the law; criminals do what they want regardless of what the law states.

That’s my take.

 

9 Responses

  1. chase Stapley Says:

    If a law abiding citizen were to shoot someone, it would most likely be in self defense. Why should the aggressors be rewarded with medical care for their intended victims defense? I mean, it’s thinking outside the box, but shouldn’t someone who broke into my house be responsible for their risk? If two guys robbed a store and one was shot to death, his partner would be liable for manslaughter charges, right?
    Plus, pistols would be higher rates of insurance because they are more often used in crimes and carried by L.A.C.’s. …. This idea needs some fine tuning to be credible.

  2. 2ndRight Says:

    Last I checked, Criminals were not very good about following gun laws. Hence why they are called criminals.

    Since criminals are not supposed to have guns in the first place, I am not too sure that making sure criminals buy gun insurance before they commit a crime will actually decrease violent crime.

    However if we use the logic of the gun banners, since most drunk driving crashes happen at night and at speeds over 10 MPH, the government is banning all night time driving unless you have a special night time driving license which must be approved by the government after an extensive background check, additional testing, an additional per year license fee, and demonstrating to the government you have a legitimate reason to drive at night. Saying you want to drive at night isn’t reason enough as you could shop during the day. Saying you need to drive to work at night also isn’t reason, as you could easily take a taxi or bus to get to work.

    With the new night time driving license, if granted a license, you will be limited to driving no faster than 10MPH.

    Why 10MPH. Oh that is easy, few if any people are ever hurt or killed in car crashes of 10PMH or less. According to Mr. Biden, if we saved just one life with these new reasonable nightime restrictions on Assault Vehicles, these new driving restrictions would be worth it.

    The government is not trying to restrict your freedom or ability to drive, you can drive all you want during the day. The government is merely trying to make driving safer for everyone with reasonable restrictions on night time driving.

  3. 2ndRight Says:

    The government is also going to ban 178 named Urban Assault Vehicles. These are vehicles that are easily capable of going more than 100mph. This includes vehicles like the Chevy Corvette and Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang.

  4. DumbFounded Says:

    Interesting analysis on the gun law and I agree whole-heartedly. I too do not own a gun although recent events have made me ponder whether I should; so I have no dog in this fight either. What I do have is a strong conviction that the federal government is incapable of making fundamental decisions that benefit me. The actions of a few (criminals and murderers) continue to jeopardize the rights of the many…why not simply focus more on criminals?? The answer is that career criminals ARE capable of making effective decisions that protect THEIR livelihood and careers. I am not advocating vigilante justice or any such thing but just making a point. Our lawmakers need to find the guts to address the problem, not make everyone suffer by trying to change the game. Ultimately, criminals will continue to ignore, at their peril, any attempts to limit their activities but, as you point out, all effort is on controlling legitimate and legal gun possession. All the gun control efforts in the universe will not correct the crime problem we have. As for opponents of President Obama’s effort to control assault weapons, I will note that the military has always had the best weaponry. Look back to the Revolutionary War even. Did any private citizen’s own cannon?? In the Civil War, did the common citizen own the repeating carbine?? In WW2, any common citizens own machine guns?? Leaving military weapons in the hands of the military is fine with me. It’s the next step…and the next that truly worry me.

  5. 2ndRight Says:

    DF,

    Why yes there was private ownership of cannons in Revolutionary War. Just as today it is legal for private citizens to own cannons.

    And you are not correct about the Military always having the best weapons.
    Many snipers of the Revolutionary war used guns with rifling for greater accuracy. Those rifled guns were hunting rifles privately owned by citizen soldiers.

    During the civil war, the faster loading breech loaded weapons like the Henry repeating rifle were bought by citizen soldiers and their families and taken into battle as the war department was still issuing the older percussion style weapons.

    In the 1920’s and 30’s any citizen could buy a Thompson fully automatic machine gun at their local hardware store for less than $30 dollars.

    Modern day ammunition for snipers was derived from bullets and cartridges first developed for hunting and long range shooting competitions in the 1980’s and 90’s.

  6. 2ndRight Says:

    DF, you also say leave military weapons in the hands of the military.

    Private citizens have not been able to buy new fully automatic military weapons since 1986.

    The ban on military weapons you are hoping for is already the law today and has been for 27 years.

    This new ban is on weapons that only look like military weapons but don’t and cannot function like military weapons.

    When people learn this, especially non-gun owners, they are often surprised because they think anyone can walk into a Walmart or gun show and buy a fully automatic military weapon and walk right out.

    They can’t.

  7. Art Johns Says:

    Protect the 2nd Amendment Right: I also have a responsibility to help protect our system of law as did our forefathers did. In their wisdom they left the second amendment open for today’s society to add a little something and make and keep it current in today’s envirnoment.

    I have given this subject about 20mins of my time and have come to the conclusion weeks ago about the remedy concerning this matter.

    The politicians can’t solve this matter with any of their debates or conferences, so, heres my proposal.

    We need to look at this from the standpoint that this is a psychological matter and we need psychologist 1st and lawmakers 2nd and 3rd The Insurance Lobby (they love money) to get behind this and fight the NRA.

    By the way the NRA is just postuering because they think that they have membership and money clout to own Weapons of Mass Destruction, they don’t want to assume any liability.

    Firearm Requirement
    1. Questions.
    PURPOSE FOR OBTAINING FIREARM
    (a) Protection of home i.e. family or property
    (b) Protection of business
    (c) Hunting
    (d) Recreational Shooting)
    (e) Protection of self from overt bodily harm
    (f) 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms
    (g) OTHER: state purpose __________________________
    2.
    REQUIREMENT/S IN ORDER TO OBTAIN AND KEEP FIREARM/S
    (a) Citizen who can pass background check & be over the age of 21yrs old.
    (c) Property or business owner
    (b) Ownership License to safely use and operate said firearm safely.
    (d) Can obtain Liability Gun Insurance at time of purchase and maintain in force.
    3. END THE “FLE MARKET” GUN SALES (seller\s of WMD).
    (a) Note. WMD we kill more people in America yearly than our solders suffer in combat situations yearly.

    4.more…

    FIREARM LIABILITY OWNERSHIP INSURANCE
    1) Firearm Liability Insurance for every type of firearm owned.
    (a) Hand Gun (Liability Insurance Policy of $500,000)
    (b) Hunting Rifle (Liability Insurance Policy of $500,000)
    (c) Shotgun (Liability Insurance Policy of $500,000)
    (d) Musket / Black Powder (Liability Insurance Policy of $500,000)
    (e) Machine Gun / Assault Weapon ((Liability Insurance Policy of $5,000,000)

    4. There is no need to focus on criminals, magazines or bullets at this particular time, we already have laws in place that deals with them.

    PENALITY
    1) Non-Compliance
    2)

    5.
    EXEMPTION:
    1) On Duty Carry Open or Concealed (insurance by agency).
    2) U.S. Military all branches On Duty Carry Open or Concealed (insurance by agency)
    3.
    4.

    Note: This will help keep the criminal from having guns and let only good gun-toting, overly armed, good sane people with impeccable moral standards, who could pass all background checks and indiscriminately kill as many zombies of the apocalypse (citizens) as possible.

    Have we lost our fracken mind?

    When we have killed off all the animals I guess man will be next.

    It’s the hunt man, so when you are bugging out and you run into the urban zombies (citizens) in the inner city you can just wipe them out with no second thought.

    We have truly lost our fracken mind!

    Citizen Art Johns

  8. Jim Cole Says:

    What a dreamer! This would only aid and abet criminals who don’t buy insurance anyway. No insurance is going to cover criminality in the first place. It would generate premiums that would be partly duplicating HO policies’ liability cover.

  9. Michael Says:

    Legislators proposing mandatory liability insurance for gun ownership is a perfect example of how low the entry bar is for becoming a politicain. The lack of critical thinking is astounding. First, insurance does not cover an intentional act other than self defense. Second, it would duplicate the coverage for unintentional / accidents that already exists under a Homeowner’s or Tenant Homeowners policy. Third, it would do absolutely nothing to reduce gun violence – insured or not a gun used to commit murder would still leave the victim just as dead. If they want to have a positive affect, rather than posture as being useful & pass another useless law, make gun crimes a Federal offense with a mandatory sentence. Doing so would not stop all gun crimes but it would reduce them overtime. Another positive step would be up hold the Constitution. The guys that wrote it were a much brighter bunch.

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