A bill introduced last week at the Statehouse would require gun owners to report their weapons to home insurance companies.
The bill, H.709, is currently in the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, and it’s only in “short form.” This means it’s relatively simple and vague.
“This bill proposes to require an insurer that writes homeowner’s insurance policies to require a policyholder to disclose to the company whether the homeowner or member of his or her household possesses a gun that is stored on the insured property.”
State Rep. Thomas Stevens, D-Waterbury, one of the bill’s two sponsors, views the proposed legislation as a way to let the private sector regulate guns.
“I believe it can be a free market answer to an important gun safety issue — let the insurance companies and banks decide what risks they need to consider when making mortgages and home owners insurance. Insurance companies ask lots of questions to determine that already.”
Stevens’ bill is one of many gun control initiatives beginning to flood the Statehouse. Others include municipal gun laws proposed for Burlington, as well background check legislation, which failed last year.
“Anyone who says or thinks that this is not a backdoor registration scheme is either lying or deluded,” Eddie Garcia, founder of the Vermont Citizens Defense League, told Vermont Watchdog.
“How would this be enforced? By requiring the insurance companies to submit proof of compliance to the government, of course. And no insurance company will create a policy that pays out when the policyholder willfully commits a crime. This is nonsense, and insulting nonsense at that.”
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