On Tuesday, a pro-Second Amendment group filed a lawsuit against the city of San Jose, California, over the city’s recently-enacted gun control measure that forces all gun owners in the city to purchase liability insurance and pay an annual fee.
As reported by Fox News, the lawsuit was filed in federal court by the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), as well as a gun owner and San Jose resident named Mark Sikes. The lawsuit came after the city council voted in favor of the new ordinance.
On Wednesday, after the new measure was passed into law, NAGR President Dudley Brown held a press conference in which he denounced the policy as “America’s most insane” gun control law.
“Where else could it happen but California?. This is astounding at a time when citizens are worried about safety. They’re threatened in their own homes [and] law enforcement feels hampered by the responses, and crime is on the rise,” Dudley said. “So, what’s the response of the San Jose City Council? It’s to tax and regulate its citizens just for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right.”
Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer and Republican National Committee member representing the plaintiffs, described the new policy as “unconstitutional,” saying that “the law compels people to purchase insurance that doesn’t necessarily exist and that demonstrates that this law is not a good-faith attempt to do anything other than ban or burden the lawful possession of guns.”
Dhillon further criticized another aspect of the measure, which dictates that the collective fees paid by all gun owners in the city would go to an unspecified non-profit group; however, as Dhillon noted, “the ordinance even prohibits the city from directing how the non-profit would use the funds.” As such, gun owners being forced to pay a non-profit that may share a political message with which they disagree could also constitute a violation of their First Amendment rights.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D-Calif.) previously expressed his support for the ordinance in an op-ed with the Los Angeles Times, in which he explained that “the proposals include two requirements for gun owners that no city or state in the U.S. has ever implemented: the purchase of liability insurance and the payment of annual fees to fund violence-reduction initiatives.”