Hawaii Mulling Mandatory Insurance For Gun Owners

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jan 30, 2016 7:05 PM
Hawaii Mulling Mandatory Insurance For Gun Owners

The Aloha state could the first that mandates its gun own residents to obtain insurance and requiring them to re-register their firearms with the state every five years. The bill introduced by Hawaiian State Sen. Josh Green (D-Kona, Ka’u) has been labeled as redundant since insurance companies would already cover the firearm-related incidents he fears that warrants the state to dragoon law-abiding citizens into buying liability policies for exercising their Second Amendment rights (via HawaiiNewsNow):

The proposal, introduced by State Sen. Josh Green (D – Kona, Ka’u) would require gun owners to obtain firearms liability insurance from private insurance companies. Hawaii would be the first state in the country to enact such a requirement, if lawmakers and the governor approve of the law.

"I don't want to take people's guns away from them but I want people to take full responsibility," said Green, an emergency room physician at Kohala Hospital on the Big Island.

Green likens the requirement to car insurance.

"They have to pay insurance so that if they're in a collision and they hurt someone else who's an innocent bystander, it's covered. Just like with guns, if a gun falls into the wrong hands or if there's an accident, just an accident, it makes a lot of sense to me that we have that extra level of responsibility," Green said.

Bill Richter, secretary of the Hawaii Rifle Association, said, "Any time you mandate something on a core constitutional, fundamental right, it has the effect of chilling that right and the exercise thereof, so we really don't think it's a good idea."

Richter and insurance experts said homeowners and renters insurance would already cover accidents involving someone's firearms, even if gun incidents happen outside their home. Purposeful criminal activity would not be covered by liability insurance of any kind, Richter said.

Driving a car is a privilege, owning a firearm is a right. There’s a difference. Richter also said that the re-registration of firearms would greatly increase the state’s workload regarding processing and other paperwork, which is going to need additional resources. He also added that the state already has strict gun laws and a low homicide rate, so this bill is just another example of liberals trying to further curtail Second Amendment freedoms.