The New York Times reports that at least five states, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, are considering forcing gun owners to buy insurance in order to keep their guns. Their reasoning is fairly specious;
Doing so would give a financial incentive for safe behavior, they hope, as people with less dangerous weapons or safety locks could qualify for lower rates.
“I believe that if we get the private sector and insurance companies involved in gun safety, we can help prevent a number of gun tragedies every year,” said David P. Linsky, a Democratic state representative in Massachusetts who wants to require gun owners to buy insurance. He believes it will encourage more responsible behavior and therefore reduce accidental shootings. “Insurance companies are very good at evaluating risk factors and setting their premiums appropriately,” he added.
Yeah, I guess the financial incentive provided by not going to jail for improperly owning a gun isn’t enough, we need to be influenced by comparatively puny insurance premiums. The article claims that legislators are convinced that forcing automobile operators to have insurance is comparable. Well, except that car ownership isn’t a right enumerated in the Constitution like owning a gun.
The article goes on to point out what most people already know – our homeowner insurance already covers most of our damages which result from firearms. It also says that insurance companies are a little reticent about covering firearms exclusively considering the potential for fraud.
Of course, the first result of such legislation would be to make thousands, if not millions of gun owners criminals. Only people who could afford the premiums would buy the insurance, and they wouldn’t necessarily give up their guns. The number of uninsured drivers should be enough to convince anyone of that.
Insurancequotes.com says 16% of drivers in the country are uninsured and that most of them are lower income families who can’t afford the premiums. The same would be true of gun insurance. People who live in high crime neighborhoods would have the greatest need for a gun to protect themselves and would be least likely to buy insurance. So, the do-gooders would be disarming the poor, or making more of them criminals.