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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A California city voted Tuesday night to require gun owners to carry liability insurance in what is believed to be the first such measure. in United States.

The San Jose City Council overwhelmingly approved the measure despite opposition from gun owners who said it would violate their Second Amendment rights and vowed to sue.

The Silicon Valley city of about 1 million followed the trend of other Democratic-led cities that have tried to curb the violence through stricter rules. But while similar laws have been proposed, San Jose is the first city to pass one, according to Brady United, a national nonprofit that advocates against gun violence.

The councilors, including several who had lost friends to gun violence, said it was a step toward confronting gun violence that councilman Sergio Jimenez called “a scourge on our society.”

Having liability insurance would encourage people in the 55,000 households in San Jose who legally own at least one registered gun to have gun safes, install trigger locks and take gun safety classes, Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

Liability insurance would cover loss or damage resulting from any accidental use of the firearm, including death, injury or property damage, according to the ordinance. If a gun is stolen or lost, the owner of the firearm would be held liable until the theft or loss is reported to authorities.

However, gun owners who don’t have insurance won’t lose their guns or face criminal charges, the mayor said.

The council also voted to require gun owners to pay an estimated $25 fee, which would be collected by a yet-to-be-named nonprofit and distributed to community groups to use for gun safety education and training. of fire, suicide prevention, domestic violence. and mental health services.

The proposed ordinance is part of a sweeping gun control plan Liccardo announced following the May 26 mass shooting at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority rail yard that left nine dead, including the employee who opened fire on his colleagues and then committed suicide.

In an hour-long meeting, critics argued that the pay and liability requirements violated their right to bear arms and would do nothing to stop gun crime, including the use of untraceable “ghost weapons.”

“A constitutional right cannot be taxed. This does nothing to reduce crime,” said one speaker.

The measure did not address the huge problem of illegally obtained guns being stolen or purchased without background checks.

Liccardo acknowledged those concerns.

“This will not stop mass shootings or prevent bad people from committing violent crimes,” the mayor said, but added that the majority of gun deaths nationally are from suicide, accidental shootings or other causes and even many homicides. stem from domestic violence.

Liccardo also said gun violence costs San Jose taxpayers $40 million a year in emergency response services.

Some speakers argued that the law would face costly and lengthy court challenges.

Before the vote, Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said his group would sue if the proposal goes into effect, calling it “totally unconstitutional in any configuration.”

However, Liccardo said that some lawyers had already offered to defend the city for free.

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