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Washington senator insists insurance bill is not about gun control

A bill proposed by a senator from Edmonds would require gun owners to have liability insurance. (AP)

The Washington State Legislature is considering a series of gun control measures that includes Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s assault weapon ban and a gun lock safety bill.

Related: Senate panel advances deadly force legislation

One senator has introduced a measure that takes on the issue a different way, requiring liability insurance before someone can buy a gun.

Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Edmonds) says people have to buy insurance for their homes, their cars, and other items, so having it for guns makes sense to her.

Chase insists her bill is not about gun control, but rather public and private protections.

“I fully believe in Second Amendment rights, however, with those rights come great responsibilities,” Chase said. “We see the destructive power of guns almost nightly on the news and yet we do not require gun owners to have any type of liability insurance. Requiring liability insurance may cause an irresponsible gun owner to exercise extra care in preventing firearm-related accidents, especially in tragic accidents involving children.”

Dave Workman, senior editor of thegunmag.com, doesn’t believe gun liability insurance will do anything to cut down on crime or gun related accidents.

“This is one more hoop that somebody is trying to throw out there to require people to jump through before they can exercise a civil right,” he said. “If they did this, or tried to do this, the howling would be heard all the way from our Washington to Washington D.C.”

Workman says politicians can only go so far with something like this before getting a negative reaction from the public.

He doesn’t believe the bill will get much traction in Olympia.

Senator Chase agrees. She admits it will be difficult to get it out of the Senate given the current political makeup. But, she says, it’s important to get the discussion started.

For now, her bill sits in the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee, with no hearing scheduled.

Insurance companies wouldn’t mind

There is one group that’s in favor of gun liability insurance — insurance companies. Insurance companies sell policies for self-defense use of guns and concealed carry. It’s even NRA-endorsed.

As described in a video promoting “Second Call Defense,” the “legal aftermath of a self-defense shooting can sometimes seem worse than what causes you to use lethal force in the first place.”

Here’s the video:

About the Author

Kipp Robertson

Kipp joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2015. He's worked as a reporter in the greater Seattle area since graduating from Western Washington University in 2010. Email Kipp at krobertson@mynorthwest.com

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