California

California mayor proposes gun control push that would force gun owners to carry liability insurance, roll out new taxes

California mayor proposes gun control push that would force
gun owners to carry liability insurance, roll out new taxes 1

SAN JOSE, CA – In light of the mass shooting that occurred at the Valley Transportation Authority railyard back in May, the San Jose mayor is proposing to the city council gun control measures that pose heavy conflict with the Second Amendment.

Among those proposed measures include forcing gun owners to carry liability insurance for owning a firearm and imposing a tax that would cover the costs associated with gun violence.

Law Enforcement Today previously reported on the mass shooting that took the lives of nine victims at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority railyard back on May 26th, with the alleged gunman having taken his life before police could take him into custody.

On June 9th, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo spoke before a crowd gathered near the site where the mass shooting occurred, detailing a series of gun control proposals he plans to put before the city council:

“With council approval San Jose would become the first city in the United States to require every gun owner to have liability insurance coverage for their firearms, to incentivize safer behavior from gun owners and importantly, to compensate injured victims.

“Second, San Jose would become the first U.S. city to require gun owners to pay a fee to compensate taxpayers for the public cost of responding to gun violence.”

It’s very well possible that Mayor Liccardo’s proposed measures could pass the city council as early as September.

Other measures included within the proposals would also require ammunition purchasers to submit a fingerprint when buying ammo, ban the owning of “ghost guns,” and allowing police to confiscate firearms from owners who are non-compliant with the proposed gun control measures if passed.

Mayor Liccardo also addressed that some critics might bring up how “criminals” won’t bother to follow these proposed gun control measures, which the mayor acknowledged to be true but said that it’s “important feature of these proposals, not a defect”:

“Skeptics will say that criminals will not obey either of these mandates. And they’re absolutely correct. Of course, they won’t. Crooks don’t follow the law. That’s an important feature of these proposals, not a defect. Together, these rules create a constitutionally compliant mechanism to enable law enforcement to impound guns from high-risk individuals unwilling to follow the law.”

Mayor Liccardo’s mentioning of “a constitutionally compliant mechanism” is a rather bold claim when in reference to these proposed gun control measures, which Gun Owners of California President Sam Paredes commented on:

“We have a preemption law in the state of California that doesn’t allow him to go into the kind of gun control that he’s trying to propose. And we have something called the Constitution that prevents him from doing some of the other things that he is attempting to do.”

Prior to getting into the questionable aspects related to Mayor Liccardo’s proposal and the Second Amendment, Paredes pointed out the obvious that there’s already a copious amount of gun control within California that wasn’t able to prevent the latest mass shooting:

“The state governs when you think about buying a gun, when you buy a gun, own it, use it, transport it, sell it, everything…they govern everything.

“We have ten-day waiting periods, an assault weapons ban, a magazine ban, ammunition background checks and registration, You cannot sell without going through a dealer. So, we control everything. And still, these tragedies continue to occur, which shows that all of these gun control laws, they all fail. They cannot prevent mass shootings.”

One area where Paredes cites has the largest propensity to face legal challenges are the proposed taxes that would be levied against gun owners to pay for the “cost of responding to gun violence” as Mayor Liccardo put it.

Paredes pointed that the courts have found that the government cannot impose a financial precondition on enumerated rights, such as someone exercising free speech, religion, voting, and, of course, the right to bear arms.

Mayor Liccardo’s plan was submitted on June 10th and debates on the proposals will begin on June 16th.

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As mentioned earlier, Law Enforcement Today reported on the mass shooting that seems to be the inspiration behind this latest gun reform proposal. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SAN JOSE, CA – The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office recently released bodycam footage from the May 26th shooting that occurred at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority that saw nine victims killed. 

According to authorities, 57-year-old VTA employee Samuel Cassidy arrived at the VTA site, going between two buildings and killings his co-workers. 

Cassidy was reportedly armed with two semiautomatic handguns and was also carrying 11 loaded magazines.

The suspect had killed nine of his co-workers, later identified as: 

  • Lars Kepler Lane
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan
  • Michael Rudometkin
  • Timothy Romo
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez
  • Adrian Balleza
  • Taptejdeep Singh
  • Paul Delacruz Megia
  • Alex Ward Fritch

On June 1st, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office released four minutes of bodycam footage that showcased sheriff’s deputies as well as San Jose Police entering the VTA building where they’d later discover Cassidy. 

Video shows the team making their way up flights of stairs around the building exterior, making their way into the third floor of the building.

A VTA supervisor had reportedly given the team a key card so as to be able to pass through interior doors inside of the building. 

As officers were clearing one of the rooms, a series of gunshots could be heard. 

Once the gunshots went off, an officer moved over to a doorway and peered through the glass, noting that he sees a subject that is down. 

The team opens the door, with one officer yelling:

“Let me see your hands!”

While blurred in the video, a man can be seen slumped over in a chair, with officials saying there was a gun in his hands. The man, later identified as Cassidy, had shot himself under the chin and moved the gun to the side of his head. 

Officials are uncertain as to whether Cassidy knew that law enforcement was closing in on him before killing himself, but it’s highly likely that he heard the team communicating with each other as they were getting closer to where he was holed up inside of the building. 

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith commended the work of the contact team that entered the building that day, remarking that they “hardly spoke a word to each other,” while inside of the building because “they knew what their job was.”

Sheriff Smith said that the work of those law enforcement officers likely saved a lot of lives that day:

“There were over 100 VTA employees on site that morning, and I believe the bravery of all of law enforcement personnel really prevented the loss of additional life.”

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