Is Mandatory Firearms Liability Insurance a Liability or an Asset?

Injunction Sought in Federal Lawsuit Over Riverside, California Sheriff Stan Sniff’s “Discriminatory and Unconstitutional” Handgun License Policies
Is Mandatory Firearms Liability Insurance a Liability or an Asset?

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Anti-gun politicians in New York are proposing mandatory liability insurance for some firearms owners. Let me give you the pitch and let’s see how you react. Yes, this is a test of sorts, so you might want to have some coffee before you dive in.

The theory is that honest gun owners cause crime. The law holds gun owners liable for everything that happens. Gun stores and gun manufacturers are held liable too. They are even liable for the actions of criminals who steal guns until the guns are reported stolen. I didn’t see any first party indemnification, so if you try and stop a robber who is stealing your guns and he shoots you with one of your own guns then you might be held liable. To sum up the theory, society would be safer because criminals will be disarmed after honest gun owners lock up their guns. The politicians say we would finally have peace on our streets, and who could object to that.

Now let’s look at the other side of the argument. Honest gun owners do a phenomenal job of keeping their guns away from children.

Accidental deaths with a firearm are rare with only one out of 350 accidental deaths being from a firearm. So we have some perspective on the problem, let me add that an accidental death with a firearm happens a little more than once a day. Now consider that armed defense is frequent rather than rare. Honest citizens use a gun for armed defense a little over 4500 times a day. If we make guns less accessible will that save lives or cost lives? The answer isn’t clear, but armed defense is about 3500 times more common than a lethal firearms accident.

We have to think about this carefully. It is true that we might reduce the number of accidental deaths. If we could eliminated almost every single gun accident then we might one life a day. In contrast, if those storage and liability requirements make it harder for us to defend ourselves by just 0.02% (1/4500) then we might lose an additional life every day. That is a step backwards. In order to actually do good, these laws must do very little harm.

Now let’s be realistic. A new law won’t eliminate every accidental death from firearms.

It would take a miracle, but maybe we could cut the number of accidents in half. We have to do that without interfering in one out of 9 thousand defensive uses of a firearm or else we’re going to cost more lives than we save. That says that liability and storage laws have to fit us exactly or they will do more harm than good. The law has to stop the small harm that is done with firearms by honest citizens without reducing the great benefit guns provide. We have to stop gun accidents and thefts without making guns even a little less useful and available.

I’ve never seen such a law, and neither has anyone else. How many more co-eds will have to go unarmed as they walk to their job off-campus? How many more women will have to leave their gun behind and face an ex-boyfriend with their bare hands? The politicians won’t say. It says a lot about politicians who propose laws that have such large and obvious flaws.

This also tells us a lot about gun owners in the United States today. You know the situation in your home.

You know who is in your home and who is at risk from erratic behavior. You already do an extraordinary job of protecting your family from all the risks they face, not just the risks of a gun accident.

I’ve seen parents sell their guns when they had children, and I’ve seen parents buy a gun once they had children. You have already balanced your risks and benefits and found the solution that saves the most lives. You’ve built a solution that fits your situation rather than having to suffer under a law that forces one solution on everybody.

Perhaps I can explain that a little better. Most firearms “accidents” are from two sources. The first is from people who are forbidden to have guns. They can’t incriminate themselves by having a gun-safe in their apartment. They can’t store their gun in a holster. They stuff their gun under a mattress or under a pillow. They hide their gun under the front step. That is where a kid finds it. The second type of accident involves drinking or drugs. Neither of those sources are likely to be reduced by firearms liability and safe storage legislation. Criminals will break our laws and addicts will remain addicts.

It is extraordinarily arrogant of a politician to say they know our situation better than we do. It is boastful to say that secure storage schemes and liability insurance will actually save lives. I note that these laws don’t apply to law enforcement officers or other government employees. The reason is that cops know that guns save lives.

It is easy for a politician to make promises, but few of their promises are delivered after the legislation is signed. In fact, we manage our lives very well and bad laws cost lives. When it comes to more gun regulations, we will pay all of the costs and receive few of the promised benefits.


About Rob Morse

The original article, with sources, is posted here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse

 

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Arizona

No one can force me to buy insurance for my firearm. The government has zero authority to regulate my choice of or ownership of or carrying of firearms. The 2nd specifically prohibits the gov or anyone else from limiting our right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution enumerates only certain powers to the gov, and gun control is NOT one of those powers.

Arizona Don

You are correct! As a matter of fact the government is forbidden to control guns. That is what shall not be infringed means.

nrringlee

New Left Progressives make their own authority. They do not defer to any higher authority. In 1974 they published a document called the Prairie Fire Manifesto where they declared our founding documents to be null and our liberty to be void. These people now populate our government at all levels. They are Godless pagans who think they are God.

Norm

What always is failed to mention in the discussion of “gun insurance” is that no insurance will cover an illegal act. A criminal shooting an innocent victim will not be covered.

Finnky

Actually – they will force liability back to whichever previous legal owner they trace the firearm back to. If they cannot collect from that innocent person, maybe even when they can, they will also apply liability to FFL who sold it and to manufacturer.

Insurance can indemnify your losses due to someone else’s criminal actions. Thus insurance could be required to pay for such crimes – despite all those being held liable already being victims of the same criminals they are being found liable for.

Wild Bill

Lets not skip to the paying part just too soon. The first thing that insurance does is provide a tort defense attorney.

Dan

Good article. Anything the gov puts under “mandatory” is bad for our republic, and any mandatory anything pertaining to a constitutional right is against our US Constitution- period.

Grigori

This sucks even worse than mandatory car insurance. While I understand the logic and benefit of automobile insurance, we all know how insurance companies gouge their customers. This would, as designed, make owning firearms prohibitively costly for many.

Last edited 11 months ago by Grigori
nrringlee

See my comment above for a detailed explanation.

UncleT

It’s another attempt of an INFRINGMENT on your right to keep and bear arms to participate in a #Militia.

No thinking about it. It’s not constitutional. It is just another hurdle to jump through for the peaceful Americans while criminals do what they want.

lynnard

never a mention of how the criminals will no longer have guns. but in their world the criminal is the hero.

Henry Bowman

Mandatory?? HELL NO. Voluntary? HELL YEAH!!
When anti-gun zealots try to hold law-abiding gun owners accountable for the actions of criminals, that’s called collective punishment, which has been the hallmark of tyrants for well over 100 years. Collective punishment was the preferred policy of Nazi Germany.

Tank

Monetizing a inalienable immutable right wouldn’t be a right then. It would be a privilege like driving a car is. Health care cannot be made mandatory either. It’s an individuals right & part of his/her own soul as an individual not a matter of State mandated chattel / slave. It’s already beyond a slippery slope of enslavement for law abiding citizens who are being forced to pay for everything when the Socialista’s/Marist’s want everything paid for them.

Makes about as much sense as making it mandatory for people to “think”. We can already see the problems with that.

Clown World

Last edited 11 months ago by Tank
Sean

Great article Rob!

mgkdrgn

And just who wo we think is going to underwrite this insurance?

Wild Bill

They all will, and they will make it profitable

RayJN

Friends and family of the Governor and other politicians, and donors.

GaryRamey

Great article. I went to the source page, but could not find the source for: “Honest citizens use a gun for armed defense a little over 4500 times a day.”
What is the source for that fact???
I’d sure like to use that with my brother-in-law!

PAF145

Democrats should have mandatory voter liability insurance

TStheDeplorable

Liberals are funny creatures. In New York they are trying to discourage people arming themselves by mandating carry insurance. In Washington state they outlawed carry insurance, hoping people would stop carrying if they thought they could lose their houses. I’ve had carry insurance for two years, after 30 years of carrying without insurance. It is really comforting knowing that if I’m in an kind of use of force incident (even if it’s not a firearm) I am covered from the first moment. If I’m arrested, they post my bail and pay for my choice of attorneys throughout the trial and… Read more »

GaryRamey

US LawShield still operates in Washington.
Their service is prepaid legal coverage with experienced attorneys available 24/7.
So you don’t have to search for an attorney or apply for an insurance refund.
$10.95 a month.
http://www.uslawshield.com

nrringlee

Leftists of all brands love creating logical fallacies to justify their prescriptions. One very common one is this: you need insurance to own a car or must prove collateral to a specified amount to drive a car within a state. So, in the progressive mind it follows that you must have insurance to own and use anything in order to ‘protect’ the public. That is where they draw their false compelling public interest basis for infringing upon your rights. Driving a car is not addressed in the Constitution. It is not a natural right. It is a privilege. Owning a… Read more »