NY State bill to require liability insurance as condition of gun ownership
February 15, 2013
By: Joseph Gilbert
A bill was introduced in the State Assembly by Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) that would require citizens of New York to acquire liability insurance as a condition to gun ownership.
Bill S2353 will require all gun owners in NY to obtain and "continuously maintain" insurance coverage of at least $1 million, or they will suffer "immediate revocation of such owner's registration, license and any other privilege to own" a firearm.
If the citizen fails to obtain the insurance, then by simply owning the firearm, they will be in violation of the law.
This bill was introduced by Assemblyman Ortiz as an amendment to the current NY State Insurance Law.
Specifically, the bill's provisions include:
"Any person in this state who shall own a firearm shall, prior to such ownership, obtain and continuously maintain a policy of liability insurance in an amount not less than one million dollars specifically covering any damages resulting from any negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person"(http://bit.ly/VlmLwR
Bill would force gun owners to buy liability insurance ..
For anyone who already owns a gun at the time the bill becomes law, that person has 30 days to buy the insurance.
If the gun is lost or stolen, it must be reported to the police. If a crime is committed by the gun before its loss or theft is reported to the police, the previous owner is liable.
The bill does not specifically state that the gun will be confiscated or that the gun owner must surrender the gun, but will lose their legal "privilege" to own a gun.
It is estimated that simple liability insurance for $1 million in coverage for gun owners would cost between $1600-2000 annually. That additional financial burden to own a gun will be prohibitively expensive for many NY State citizens. Gun ownership will no longer be an option with the additional cost from obtaining liability insurance.
The law would take effect 19 days after being signed by the governor, and the state will be empowered to write any additional regulations as necessary to enforce the law.
Bill S2353 in New York is similar to a bill introduced in California, Maryland and Massachusetts that also requires all gun owners to obtain liability insurance. To date, none of these bills have become law.
This comes one month after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the NY SAFE Act into law. The SAFE Act restricts gun ownership and bans ammunition magazines that are capable of holding more than seven rounds.
Opposition to the SAFE Act has been growing among the state's county legislatures and sheriffs as local resolutions are passed urging the law's repeal. There is also a "2nd Amendment Rally" planned in Albany on Feb 28th to protest the new gun law.
The bill in New York was referred to the Assembly's Insurance Committee.