Colorado Lawmakers Mull Bill Mandating Firearm Liability Insurance

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COLORADO — A bill that would make all guns in Colorado carry liability insurance barely made it out of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee Thursday evening, with a vote of 6-5.

Under House Bill 24-1270, gun owners must keep “a liability insurance policy that covers losses or damages to a person, other than the policyholder, who is injured on the insured property as a result of any accidental or unintentional discharge of the firearm.”

People who are shot by mistake would be able to file a claim against the gun’s owner under this bill. It was said that if a gun was stolen, the insured would not be responsible for any claims as long as the gun was reported stolen.

One of the main supporters of the Democratic bill is State Rep. Iman Jodeh (D-Arapahoe County).

Jodeh said, “What we’re really trying to do is make sure that we’re just adding one more safety measure and responsible gun ownership.” It’s their right to own guns, and we don’t want to get in the way of that. We want to make sure they are even safer, though. They believe they should own guns, have the right to own guns, and can and should be responsible gun owners. By giving them this insurance, we support their view.

Jodeh says that this kind of insurance is already included in homeowner’s and renters’ insurance. She doesn’t think it would put a lot of financial stress on gun owners because the cases they’ve seen from private insurers show that firearm liability insurance costs about $50 a year.

“We know that it’s only about $50 for policies that are already in place.” So, there are protections for people who can’t afford them but have shown they are sensible gun owners. We’ve set up ways to make sure that we’re not violating anyone’s constitutional rights and that we’re instead making sure that responsible gun ownership is protected.

Colorado lawmakers are thinking about a bill that would require gun owners to have liability insurance.
State Rep. Ryan Armagost (R-Larimer and Weld Counties) is strongly against HB24-1270. He doesn’t think people will follow the rules, and he said that shootings happen by accident very rarely.

He said, “I think this is a long-term, large-scale plan for all of this to work together in some way to stop gun owners from wanting to or even legally being able to get and own guns.” “When we talk about unintentional gun deaths, that won’t happen among law-abiding citizens. Those are the kinds of fatalities that happen in drive-by shootings, gang violence, or other situations where people are shooting at each other and someone gets hit by a bullet by accident.”

If the bill is signed into law, breaking it would be a civil offense. A first offense would get you at least a $500 fine, but half of that could be waived if you get gun liability insurance.

The next stop for HB24-1270 is the Committee of the Whole.

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