SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — In the wake of a Valley Transportation Authority railyard shooting that claimed the lives of nine workers, the San Jose City Council was set to vote Tuesday on tougher local gun laws including levying an annual fee on gunowners living in the South Bay city.
On May 26, Samuel Cassidy, who had a long history of insubordination and instability with coworkers and management, walked into the VTA yard and opened fire on his co-workers. Nine died before Cassidy turned the gun on himself and took his own life.READ MORE: COVID Surge: Santa Clara County To Require Its 22,000 Workers To Be Vaccinated
Complete Coverage: Deadly San Jose VTA Mass Shooting
The city is still reeling from the mass shooting. VTA commuter service has yet to return to its normal schedules.READ MORE: Pedestrian Dies After Getting Hit By Car In San Jose
Ahead of Tuesday night’s vote, the Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation will provided preliminary estimates on the local costs of gun violence from its Public Cost of Gun Harm Study.
“While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in a news release. “We won’t magically end gun violence, but we stop paying for it. We can also better care for its victims, and reduce gun-related injuries and death through sensible interventions.”
The preliminary PIRE research has found that gun violence in San José has cost taxpayers $442 million dollars between 2013-2019 during which there were 205 incidents of gun violence.
The estimated cost includes: direct out-of-pocket cost to residents ($35 million), lost work ($78 million), and quality of life ($328 million).MORE NEWS: PG&E to Face Criminal Charges Over Deadly Zogg Fire in Shasta County
The proposals city council will vote on include:
- Reducing Gun Harm through an Insurance Mandate: Insurance-based mechanisms can encourage firearm owners to behave more safely by taking safety classes, using gun safes, installing trigger locks and can compensate injured victims.
Insurers have long used risk-adjusted premiums to reward good driving and incentivize use of airbags and other safety features, reducing per-mile auto fatalities by 80% in four decades. Similar approaches can mitigate gun risk, since 4.6 million children live in a household where a gun is kept unlocked and loaded, and nearly 500 Americans also die from preventable, unintentional shootings every year, including many children.
- Reducing the Public Cost of Gun Violence: Direct costs of gun violence to California taxpayers for gunshot-related medical treatment, police response, ambulance transport and the like exceeded $1.4 billion in 2018. Taxpayers should not subsidize the cost from gun use. Requiring gun users to pay fees will help fund critical emergency medical and police response and reduce taxpayer burdens.
- Impounding Guns from Those Who Don’t Comply: Criminals won’t obey these mandates. Yet together, these rules create a constitutionally-compliant mechanism to enable law enforcement to impound guns from high-risk individuals unwilling to follow the law.