San Jose sued after City Council votes to force gun owners to have liability insurance, pay fee
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The San Jose City Council voted Tuesday evening to force gun owners to pay a “harm reduction fee” and have liability insurance, and the city is already facing a lawsuit from the National Association for Gun Rights in response.
Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) celebrated the vote. “Tonight San Jose became the first city in the United States to enact an ordinance to require gun owners to purchase liability insurance, and to invest funds generated from fees paid by gun owners into evidence-based initiatives to reduce gun violence and gun harm,” he wrote in a statement.
“Thank you to my council colleagues who continue to show their commitment to reducing gun violence and its devastation in our community,” Liccardo said. He also thanked legal partners, including the Bloomberg-funded gun control groups EveryTown and Moms Demand Action, as well as Gifford Law Alliance.
Gun owners will be required to pay $25 every year in addition to city administrative costs, NBC Bay Area reports. Liccardo said the fee will be per household and not per gun.
Requiring insurance will also raise the price of owning a gun in San Jose. For example, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association offers insurance ranging from $29 to $49 a month. The city cited a Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation study showing that firearm injuries cost San Jose residents $442 million on average each year.
“I look forward to supporting the efforts of others to replicate these initiatives across the nation,” he added.
The ordinance states that the harm reduction fee could go to suicide prevention, domestic violence programs, and other areas, but the city “shall not specifically direct how the monies … are expended.”
The National Foundation for Gun rights initially sent a cease-and-desist letter in July threatening to sue if the measure were passed in San Jose.
The organization calls the city ordnance “unconstitutional” and compares it to a “free speech tax” or a “church attendance tax.”
“If gun grabbers get away with taxing the right to own a gun, every left-leaning local government across the country will quickly follow,” the foundation states.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the Parkland school shooting, applauded the measure. “For so many reasons, this law is one that I support and that should be the law across the United Sates [sic],” he said. “This law will save lives and hold those accountable who are irresponsible with their guns.”
Not everyone celebrated the move, however. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was also killed in the Parkland school shooting, voiced his disapproval of the measure.
“San Jose, California has voted to require gun owners to pay a fee and carry liability insurance,” he tweeted. “Guess who won’t pay the fee and carry liability insurance? Criminals.”
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett Granted Release From Jail During Appeal For Hate Crime Hoax Conviction
On Monday, Jussie Smollett’s lawyers demanded the actor be released from prison after he and his family received “vicious threats” that supposedly raised concern for Smollett’s safety while in jail. This request was granted on Wednesday, allowing Smollett to be released from jail on bond while his lawyers appeal his conviction for staging a hate crime and lying to the police about it.
Back in December, Smollett, 39, was found guilty on five felony counts of disorderly conduct. Last week, the disgraced actor was sentenced to 150 days in jail, restitution to the city of Chicago of $120,106, and a $25,000 fine.
During his sentencing, Smollett claimed that he was not suicidal and that if he dies while in jail, it will be the result of foul play. He also maintained his innocence during his sentencing despite the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence against him.
“Your honor, I respect you, and I respect your decision,” said Smollett,” but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
Only days after being sent to the Cook County Jail, Smollett was placed in the psych ward, which prison officials claimed is standard policy for high profile criminals.
Smollett’s attorneys had insisted that he could be in danger of physical harm if he remained imprisoned at Cook County Jail, claiming their client was the target of “vicious threats”.
“Mr. Smollett has become the target of vicious threats in the social media forums which no doubt reflects the hatred and wish for physical harm towards Smollett which he may experience during incarceration,” the lawyers’ filing said.
Smollett’s brother has reportedly been “bombarded” with threatening phone calls, and the rest of the family has also received threats.
“Mr. Smollett anticipates he will most likely be assigned to segregated incarceration or protective custody, both euphemisms for solitary confinement; a situation which could have extraordinary damage on his mental health,” continued the filing. “As a result, any custodial setting poses a safety and health danger to the life of Mr. Smollett.”
Apparently, damage to a prisoner’s mental health is of the utmost importance in prison now. Jail, of course, is known to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Regardless, since he was convicted of ‘non-violent” offenses, the court is allowing Smollett to be released from Cook County Jail on a $150,000 recognizance bond, which only has to be paid if he misses a court date.
VIDEO: Kim Potter Only sentenced to 16 months in prison for 1st Degree Manslaughter
Extreme Leniency: Kim Potter was just sentenced to 24 months (2 years) in prison with credit for 8 months time served, meaning her sentence is 16 months.
Judge Regina Chu said that this was the case of a “cop who made a tragic mistake. She drew her firearm thinking it was a Taser and ended up killing a young man.”
The court approved a downward departure from the typical sentence, as Chu said Potter never intended to use her firearm and the scene painted as chaotic. (guy sitting in car)
By Minnesota law, Potter was sentenced only on the higher charge of first-degree manslaughter. The maximum charge is 15 years, but for someone with no criminal history like Potter, guidelines range from between six and eight-and-a-half years.
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