In the wake of the terrorist attacks that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Los Angeles County officials are considering toughening local gun regulations, including a possible requirement for gun owners to buy insurance.
The supervisors voted Tuesday to ask county lawyers, public safety and mental health officials to report back on proposed gun control measures along with other options to “further prevent violence and improve safety in the workplace and public settings.”
As part of that request, they asked for an analysis of ways to “adopt stricter gun control restrictions and penalties,” including further background checks, a potential local tax on guns and ammunition, and an insurance requirement for gun owners.
The insurance policy would be similar to car insurance, making payments to offset the costs to victims and public agencies if the policy-holder’s gun is used to injure or kill someone.
Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA who studies gun laws, said the insurance requirement could reduce accidents and suicides by getting people to store their guns more securely or to purchase “smart guns” that can be fired only by authorized users.
But Winkler said he did not expect an insurance requirement to have a significant effect on gun crime.
He also said the constitutionality of such a requirement is “not crystal clear,” and it would probably be challenged in court.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.