Second Amendment group sues San Jose over sweeping new gun bill

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A gun rights group has filed a lawsuit against the City of San Jose, California, after the city passed a gun bill it argues will reduce firearms-related incidents.

“The City of San Jose has taken the unprecedented step of requiring virtually all gun owners within its city limits to pay unspecified sums of money to private insurance companies and an unspecified fee to an unidentified government-chosen non-profit simply to exercise their constitutional right to own a gun,” reads a lawsuit filed by the National Association for Gun Rights Tuesday.

(ISTOCK)

At issue is bill passed Tuesday by the City of San Jose that will require gun owners to purchase liability insurance and pay “use fees” that the city plans to invest in “evidence-based initiatives to reduce gun harm.”

“Tonight San José became the first city in the United States to enact an ordinance to require gun owners to purchase liability insurance, and to invest funds generated from fees paid by gun owners into evidence-based initiatives to reduce gun violence and gun harm,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement Tuesday.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo stops to view a makeshift memorial for the rail yard shooting victims in front of City Hall in San Jose, Calif., on May 27, 2021.
(AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)

The bill states that the liability insurance mandate “can reduce the number of gun incidents by encouraging safer behavior, and it can also provide coverage for losses and damages related to gun incidents,” while the fees gun owners pay will help “reduce the number of gun incidents by encouraging safer behavior.”

But that lawsuit argues the new ordinance could lead to gun confiscation, a path it called “patently unconstitutional.”

“San Jose’s imposition of a tax, fee, or other arbitrary cost on gun ownership is intended to suppress gun ownership without furthering any government interest. In fact, the penalties for nonpayment of the insurance and fees include seizure of the citizen’s gun,” the lawsuit reads. “The Ordinance is, therefore, patently unconstitutional.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
(MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

The group behind the lawsuit compared the San Jose bill to a tax on “free speech tax” or a “church attendance tax,” arguing imposing fees on any constitutional right should be “unthinkable.”

“If left intact, the City of San Jose’s Ordinance would strike at the very core of the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms and defend one’s home,” the lawsuit said.

Liccardo’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News request for comment.

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