The District of Columbia’s city council will consider a proposal Thursday that would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance before they can obtain a license to own a gun.
The legislation, proposed by Democratic Councilwoman Mary Cheh, mandates prospective gun owners to purchase a $250,000 insurance policy before the city can consider their applications.
The policy would not cover damages connected to self-defense, but it would “specifically cover any damages resulting from negligent acts, or willful acts that are not undertaken in self-defense, involving the use of the insured firearm while it is owned by the policyholder.”
While Washington, D.C., possesses some of the nation’s strictest gun-control laws, the city would become the first to mandate gun owners to purchase insurance if the bill passes. The District bans semiautomatic rifles and large-capacity magazines, and before 2008, handguns were banned in the city before the Supreme Court struck down the prohibition of handgun possession.
Similar insurance legislation is under consideration in multiple states, but no such legislation has yet passed.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law one of the nation’s toughest gun control measures Thursday. Prompted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the legislatios bans the sale of 45 varieties of assault weapons, requires all gun buyers to undergo safety training, and requires fingerprinting to receive a handgun license. The new law also reduces magazine capacity from 20 rounds to 10 rounds