California Bill Would Require Property Insurers to Ask About Gun Ownership

California Bill Would Require Property Insurers to Ask About Gun Ownership

A man looks at handguns at a shooting range in Randolph, N.J., on Dec. 9, 2015. (Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)

Ryan Morgan

Ryan Morgan

2/19/2024

Updated: 2/19/2024

A bill has been introduced in the California state legislature that would require homeowner and renter insurance providers within the state to collect information from insurance applicants in the state about whether they have firearms and how those firearms are stored on the property.
Assemblyman Mike Gipson and state Sen. Catherine Blakespear—who are both Democrats—co-sponsored the bill. The proposed legislation—which was filed as AB 3067 on Feb. 16—would require insurers within the state to update their applications for homeowners and renters insurance with questions about the number of firearms the applicant has within the household or in any vehicles kept on the property.
In addition to asking insurance applicants about the number of firearms they have, the bill would also require insurers to ask applicants whether these firearms are stored in locked containers when not in use.
If passed, the bill would require insurers to update their applications and start asking these firearm possession and storage questions by Jan. 1, 2026, and then report the information they collect annually thereafter to the California Department of Insurance and the state Legislature, starting on Jan. 1, 2027.
The bill states that the information that insurers share with the California government “shall not contain any identifying information” such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
California already has laws that require the registration of firearms within the state. Firearms dealers in the state must submit a purchase application, known as a Dealer Record of Sale (DROS), which a licensed dealer then provides to the California Department of Justice. The DROS system serves as a background check for firearms transfers and a registry for firearm ownership within the state.
It’s not clear what added purpose AB 3067 serves by collecting anonymized firearm ownership and storage information through homeowner and renter insurance providers. A DROS form collects more specific information about a firearm purchaser, including the purchaser’s name, address, contact information, state or military ID number, and a physical description of both the purchaser and dealer.
NTD reached out to Mr. Gipson and Ms. Blakespear for comment about the legislation but didn’t receive a response by press time.
Mr. Gipson and Ms. Blakespear have both called for and sponsored legislation regulating firearms’ manufacture, sale, purchase, and ownership.
Last year, Ms. Blakespear introduced a bill that would require firearm owners within the state to obtain a homeowner’s, renter’s, or specific firearm liability insurance policy that specifically covers any losses or damages resulting from negligent or accidental use of their firearms resulting in death, injury, or property damage. The city of San Jose has enacted a local ordinance that creates a similar insurance requirement for gun owners in the city.
Ms. Blakespear’s bill to establish a firearm liability insurance requirement at the state level hasn’t been enacted.
The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), a gun rights advocacy group, characterized AB 3067 as part of an ongoing effort to convince insurance companies to impose additional costs on firearm ownership.
The FPC wrote the following in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Feb. 17:
“1) Anti-gunners want to require insurance to own a gun, thinking that the companies will charge gun owners more 2) Insurance companies continue not asking questions about guns because it doesn’t affect how they determine policy costs 3) Anti-gunners want to force insurance companies to ask questions about gun ownership, hoping that they'll use that information to charge gun owners more <--YOU ARE HERE 4) Insurance companies don’t charge gun owners more based on the questions they’re forced to ask because they’re not relevant to how they determine policy costs 5) Anti-gunners want to force insurance companies to charge gun owners more.”
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Ryan Morgan

Ryan Morgan

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Ryan Morgan is a news writer for NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media publication. He primarily focuses on military and world affairs but also frequently covers U.S. domestic political events.

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