California lawmakers aim to force insurers to ask homeowners, renters about guns

California seems to be in a contest with states like Hawail and Washington when it comes to anti-gun bills.

Assembly member Mike Gipson and state Sen. Catherine Blakespear are leading an effort to require insurance companies to ask homeowners about the guns they own.

AB 3067, as introduced Feb. 16, would add Section 2086 to the state's insurance code:

Existing law generally regulates residential property insurance, including homeowners’ insurance and renters’ insurance.

Existing law generally regulates the manufacture, distribution, transportation, and importation of specified firearms. Existing law requires persons who obtain firearms to have familiarity with those firearms, including the safe handling and storage of firearms. Existing law requires a purchaser or receiver of a firearm to hold a valid firearm safety certificate.

This bill would require an insurer, by January 1, 2026, to include questions on an application for homeowners’ or renters’ insurance seeking specified information regarding the presence and storage of any firearms kept in the household, accessory structures, or vehicles kept on the property subject to any applicable insurance policy. The bill would require an insurer to annually report this information to the Department of Insurance and the Legislature beginning on January 1, 2027, and would prohibit the inclusion of confidential identifying information in the report.

Insurers would be required to ask the following questions:

(1) Whether there are firearms kept in the household, including in any accessory structures, and if so, how many.

(2) Whether the firearm, if any, is stored in a locked container in the home, including any accessory structures, while not in use.

(3) The number of firearms kept in a vehicle located on the property subject to the applicable insurance policy, and if any, whether they are stored securely in a locked container while not in use.

Then the insurer would have to play informant:

An insurer shall annually report the information gathered from the questions regarding the presence, storage, and number of firearms to the Department of Insurance and the Legislature beginning on January 1, 2027. The report shall not contain any identifying information contained in a consumer’s application for homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, including, but not limited to, names, addresses, and telephone numbers, which shall remain confidential.

All this after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared last October that the 23 anti-gun bills he signed into law "may not be enough." At least he was honest about something.

Such a sweeping assault on gun owners has a history of backfiring. Take New York, for example. In 2013, the state enacted the Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, requring mandatory registration of AR-15s. Data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation showed about a million firearms met the criteria for registration, yet only about 44,000 were registered. That's a compliance rate of about 4%.

It doesn't make sense to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals simply because new nonsense laws target them instead of law breakers.

Joe D. "Buck" Ruth is a longtime small-game hunter and gun owner who spent nearly three decades in the news industry.

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