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Following his city’s recent approval of a plan to reduce gun violence, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo met with President Joe Biden and other officials at the White House this week to discuss how the same can be done nationally.
The gun harm reduction proposals approved by the San Jose City Council at the end of June include a mandate for gun insurance; impounding guns from those who do not comply with insurance mandates and other laws; and recording all gun purchases to mitigate gun straw purchases, among many other proposals.
The mayor likens gun insurance to auto insurance, which he said was effective in reducing per-mile car accidents by 80 percent in four decades. Insurance would also reduce the public cost of gun violence, the mayor maintains, which in San Jose costs taxpayers about $442 million annually, according to preliminary data from the Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation.
Liccardo first proposed the measures after the 2019 Garlic Festival Shooting in the neighboring city of Gilroy.
“President Biden ‘gets it’ about what our cities need, including resources for violence prevention, community engagement, and federal partnership in investigation and prosecutions.”Mayor Sam Liccardo
He reintroduced them this year weeks after the Bay Area’s deadliest mass shooting, which claimed nine lives in San Jose at the Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority yard in May.
The council approved the proposals last month, directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance that will come back for a final vote in September.
Liccardo said after his meeting with Biden, “The President demonstrated a genuine commitment to partnering with cities to stem the tide of gun violence, and to scaling innovative solutions that are emerging in our cities.
“President Biden ‘gets it’ about what our cities need, including resources for violence prevention, community engagement, and federal partnership in investigation and prosecutions.”
Liccardo said he shared with Biden “how San Jose is using federal and local dollars to deploy walking patrols in high-crime neighborhoods, expand mental health response to residents in crisis, and employ young adults in gang-impacted neighborhoods in jobs that support” San Jose’s recovery.
Biden and Liccardo also discussed San Jose’s “recent legislation to halt the flow of illegal guns through straw purchasing, and to reduce the financial burdens of victims and taxpayers for gun violence and its response.”