The San Jose City Council voted in favor of a new law that will require gun owners to pay a yearly fee and purchase liability insurance. The City Council voted 10-1 in favor of the insurance requirement and 8-3 in favor of the $25 fee, which will go to a yet-to-be-determined nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing gun violence.
The new ordinance will have a final reading next month and is expected to take effect in August.
Local officials defended the new law, claiming it will help reduce gun violence.
“San Jose has an opportunity to become a model for the rest of the nation to invest in proven strategies to reduce gun violence, domestic violence and suicide and the many other preventable harms from firearms in our communities,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.
The law is opposed by gun owners in the city along with several gun rights groups, including Gun Owners of California and the National Association for Gun Rights. The groups are preparing lawsuits to block the law, which they claim is unconstitutional.
“If the San Jose City Council actually votes to impose this ridiculous tax on the Constitutional right to gun ownership, our message is clear and simple: see you in court,” Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights and executive director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights, told CNN.
“We have freedom of religion. You can’t tax religion. We have freedom of association. We can gather together, and we can’t be taxed,” he told the news station. “The same is true with the Second Amendment. You can’t put preconditions on it.”