San Jose, a city of 1 million people, has approximately 55,000 Silicon Valley households that will be required to purchase insurance and pay an annual fee in order to own a licensed firearm. The city council this week approved the measure that was introduced by Mayor Sam Liccardo last summer after a transit employee shot and killed nine co-workers at a rail yard.
The measure must be ratified by the city council at a February meeting and will go into effect in August.
San Jose has averaged 36 homicides annually going back to 2015 statistics, an average that fares better than California overall, according to local news outlets. Despite the tragic mass shooting, the city experienced 31 murders by the end of 2021.
Responding to the ordinance, Mike Hammond of Gun Owners of America predicts the current legal challenges already filed against it will prevail on Second Amendment grounds.
“I do think that it will presumably go up to the Ninth Circuit,” he says, referring to the controversial federal court, “which is why California does all these crazy things because they have a leftist circuit [court] that okays most of them.”
A lawsuit has already been filed by the National Association for Gun Rights, which is representing a San Jose resident and gun owner. A California-based gun group has vowed it will sue, too, when the ordinance is ratified next month.
Mayor Liccardo, in a pretzel-like twisting of logic, told the city council this week there is no ordinance that will stop a crook who is “intent” on killing somebody. No one, he admitted, can “magically craft” a law that will do that.
“But,” he insisted, “we can reduce gun harm when we see the expanse of gun harm and how broad it is in all its forms.”
By passing the mayor's measure, San Jose can also boast it became the first U.S. city to pass such a restriction in the name of gun safety.
Mayor Liccardo, meanwhile, is completing his second and final term this year. Looking toward his political future, he hired a consulting firm in 2018, with city money, to boost his national profile.