Bernard Bell is the associate dean at Rutgers Law School, and thinks that there should be strict liability for gun owners:
A move toward absolute liability would ideally be accompanied by private insurers’ willingness to insure gun owners against such liability. Such insurance should be separate from standard homeowners’ insurance, so that homeowners who do not own guns are not required to subsidize those who do.
The cost of insurance would reflect the expected cost of compensating gun injuries to innocent people. Individuals would then have the incentive to weigh the cost of injuries to others in deciding whether to purchase or keep firearms.
And insurance companies might well offer incentives, in the form of lower rates, to gun owners who engage in practices that decrease the likelihood of accidental injuries, such as trigger locks, safe storage and regular courses in maintenance and use of handguns.
Gun control people everywhere are thinking up ways to get around Heller, in order to discourage people from owning guns, and especially discouraging people from using them in self-defense.Â Sadly, most of this stuff is probably not going to get the scrutiny they deserve from the courts, which is why the political fight is still paramount.
I wonder if Professor Bell is open to the idea that these liability issues should be applied equally to the police and military?
9 thoughts on “More Nonsense from New Jersey”
“Such insurance should be separate from standard homeownersâ€™ insurance, so that homeowners who do not own guns are not required to subsidize those who do.”
I’ll do this when they drop welfare and the universal health care bit. I shouldn’t have to subsidize people who live on welfare while I work.
Maybe someone in the blogosphere should start up and maintain a grading system for each of the states regarding gun laws, like the Brady Bunch.
Only we could do it in reverse.
Start with the original Old Glory American flag with 13 stars. Each major infringement, you take one star away. When the stars are gone, take away the blue patch for the next infringement. Then take away one red stripe for each subsequent infringement.
What are you left with in the states with the most restrictive gun laws?
A white flag.
I tell ya, just when I though NJ couldn’t get any nuttier. If it’s not the water, then it must be the air, cause every time I cross the Delaware River, I smell the Freedom.
btw……how about liability issues for the other Amendments then?
Yeah, let the insurance companies dictate policy for more shit they shouldn’t even be sticking their noses into, ie: health industry, building and construction, etc.
First: Your Health. Who the fuck are they who tell you what procedure you can and cannot have done, when it’s YOUR money being paid into the system?
Second: Building & Construction – ever try to break a window to get into or out of a house that’s on fire? If you live within a mile of the coast, your windows have to be able to withstand the impact of a 2×4 traveling at 120 mph. Try smashing through one of those. Then there’s hurricane ties and strapping and shit. You now have a home costing 3x what it would have normally cost to build. Homes built 100 years ago without all this nonsense are still standing. The reason all this is happening is because they have to pay out to a homeowner in the event that his/her house gets blown apart by a hurricane. How often does that happen?
Anybody else see the bullshit the insurance industries are heaping on us? It’s all about the insurance companies’ greed. Plain and simple.
Car insurance I agree with, because people drive like assholes, esp. in the state of NEW JERSEY. Gee, go figure that the NHTSA ranked New Jersey drivers to be the worst in the country. If their idiots can’t even drive a car responsibly, what makes us think they’ll be able to handle a firearm responsibly? Here’s a thought: they should only require firearms insurance to New Jerseyans because hey, a GoodFella shouldn’t be caught dead without it, right? Bada-Bing, Bada-Bam, Bada-Boom!
Translated from the lawyerese, he’s advocating that the existing “inherently dangerous activity” doctrine in tort law be extended to encompass firearms ownership and use.
Traditionally this doctrine has imposed strict liability for damages resulting from things like the transportation, storage, or use of high explosives or radioactive materials, or the keeping of wild animals as pets. The idea is that these activities have little if any redeeming social value and are are highly likely to cause serious harm even when engaged in with the utmost care.
As applied to firearms ownership and use, this is nonsense on stilts, because firearms ownership and use meet none of the criteria listed in the Restatement (Second) of Torts for assessing whether an activity is inherently dangerous.
Insurers are nothing if not fiscally wise. I have absolutely no problems with this idiot’s proposal. Legal gun owners are some of the most responsible people in America. Their insurance rates will reflect that fact.
Professor Bell? Suck the actuarials, bitch.
What Boyd said “The cost of insurance would reflect the expected cost of compensating gun injuries to innocent people.” would mean for the vast majority of firearms owners a very small risk premium. HOWEVER, the people who would pay a large risk premium would do so because they break the law; therefore, they wouldn’t carry insurance anyway. So it’s a pointless annoyance for the law-abiding firearms owner, much like just about every other firearms-owner control law.
(as an aside, what’s with the hate for NJ drivers? I learned to drive in NoVA, and have friends who moved from NJ to Boston, and both NoVA and Boston drivers make NJ drivers look like models of politeness. Oh, and from the sink-or-swim school of learning to drive: sitting at the top of an onramp to I-66 W inside the beltway at 1730 hrs in a stickshift on the second day behind the wheel, and no way to back up…)
Interesting proposal…let me create an addendum.
Any such law for insurance companies must be accompanied by a law which makes it legal to shoot anyone who trespasses on your property for nefarious purposes, regardless of the current laws which require you to be “in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury” before you can defend yourself.
You can then post the “This Property Protected by Smith & Wesson”, or “Trespasser Will Be Shot, Survivors Will Be Prosecuted” signs around your home or property, without fear that if you do actually have to use lethal force, you won’t be prosecuted or sued.
Wanna bet which properties have higher burglary rates, the “Gun-Free Zone” posted homes, or the “Lethal Force Enabled” homes?
Gunowner’s home insurance rates (for burglary, at least) would plummet.
And since legal firearms owners tend to be some of the safest people around (and getting safer, thanks to good training programs), their liability for accidental firearms discharges will be lower than those who AREN’T part of the program. Those insurance rates would ALSO be lower than average.
But I’m guessing this wouldn’t be part of the GFW’s plans.
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