Should Louisiana Consider Requiring Gun Insurance?

Oct 26, 2017

“This is a horrible tragedy,” said Grambling University communications director Will Sutton, following the early Tuesday morning shooting deaths of two men outside a dorm at GSU. “There’s no place for violence on the Grambling State University campus.”

But with the shootings also comes a now-familiar admonition, that it’s also not the time to talk about gun control.

“When there’s a tragedy like this, we ought to pray for the people who lost their lives,” said Congressman Steve Scalise – a victim of gun violence himself this past June. “To promote some kind of gun control I think is the wrong way to approach this.”

Yet there’s an idea that has been getting some play on social media. Proposed in several states following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the current iteration is attributed to Gloria Bertonis of Levittown, Pennsylvania, and says “Everyone who buys a gun must also buy an insurance policy. If driving a car requires an insurance policy for unintended harm to others, why doesn’t buying a gun, which is made only to kill or injure, also require an insurance policy?”

I asked some Louisiana lawmakers what they thought of the concept.

“I already have homeowners. I already have auto insurance. I already have all kind of insurances. I’m insurance poor already,” states Republican Senator Bodi White of Baton Rouge. “Why should I have insurance if I didn’t do anything or didn’t break a law?”

Representative Thomas Carmody of Shreveport, also a Republican, said, “Unfortunately, those instances where the tragedy takes place are typically persons that don’t abide by the existing rules and regulations. What is the point of the insurance, other than selling insurance to people that are typically law-abiding citizens?”

But Grambling alumnus Ed Price, Democratic senator from Gonzales, said, “If there’s something that we can do in order to curtail gun violence, then certainly we need to look at it. Let’s at least have the conversation.”