No, Requiring Liability Insurance On Firearms Would Not Stop Gun Crime

Screen capture of Washington Post headline, May 25, 2022. Click to enlarge.

Reading the Sunday Washington Puke, err Post, I found this column towards the rear of the email. I have to give the editors this, they did put it under an opinion piece, as opposed to “news.” But it brings up a truism I’ve learned over almost 60 years on this earth. Do not confuse education and intelligence. Many of the most intelligent, we reasoned, well-read people I know have only a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree. Many a moron I’ve known has the term doctorate behind their name.

For example, the two authors both have doctorate degrees. One is a law school professor; the other is a professor of economics. Yes, they are teaching the young and stupid to be even more so. God help up.

The case for mandatory gun-liability insurance. 

By Jason Abaluck, professor of economics at Yale School of Management and Ian Ayres, Oscar M. Ruebhausen professor of law at Yale Law School.

You have to buy insurance to drive a car. Why not if you own a gun?

Because this is a classic apple and orange comparison. You have a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, which is part of your endowed right of self-defense. You do not have a right to drive a motor vehicle on the public roads.

breakthrough on potential new gun regulations is welcome news, but the recently announced proposals from a bipartisan group of senators are striking in their narrowness. They include incentivizing states to pass more red-flag laws, improving background checks for buyers younger than 21 and widening the group of sellers required to register as federal firearms dealers. Better than nothing, these reforms nonetheless would address only a small fraction of the more than 45,000 gun deaths and 120,000 gun injuries that occur each year in the United States.

Of the 45,000-gun deaths each year in the United States, 54% (over 22,000) are suicides. Hate to tell you, if someone wants to kill themselves, they will. In over two decades on the street, I’ve seen several suicides, many by firearms, but also hanging/choaking, jumping off a highway overpass or the 22nd floor of an apartment complex, and asphyxiation (Stuffing the tail pipe on their SUV). Of the remaining, 43% were murders. Gentlemen, have to enlighten you, but murder is already a crime, and criminals, by definition, do not follow law. If you are ready to take someone’s life with a firearm, you can rest assured the thug who brought the pistol on the black market or stole it will not have gone to State Farm for a liability policy. But you know that already.

From a reference in the column, Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016:

Source of firearms

Overall, an estimated 287,400 prisoners possessed a firearm during their offense. Among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source. More than half (56%) of prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it of the street or from the underground market (43%). Fewer than 1% had obtained the firearm at a gun show (0.8%).

Less than 1% from a gun show. Makes you question why liberals are so concerned about a “gun show loophole.”

The modesty of the ideas on the table is a byproduct of intense polarization over gun rights, suggesting a need for new approaches. One possibility — long advocated by some economists — is to require gun owners to purchase liability insurance. This would create a several-hundred-billion-dollar incentive for insurers to find ways to reduce gun violence…

Gun insurance would accomplish two goals: First, it would raise the cost of gun ownership for people whose firearms are deemed relatively more likely to be used in crimes (by themselves or others), based on an assessment of risk factors made by insurance companies. That would make those people less likely to obtain guns in the first place. Second, it would provide a strong financial incentive for gun owners to keep these weapons out of the hands of people who might commit crimes with them.

No, the purpose is to keep firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s just put aside the fact this proposal is blatantly unconstitutional. The goal is to raise the cost of citizens to own a gun by requiring insurance for any criminal act committed with it. So if someone steals my firearm and uses it in a crime, the liability of the infraction of the law is not on the criminal, but the victim of his crime, the law-abiding citizen.

Tell me professors, if someone steals my truck, drives drunk, and kills someone in an accident, am I responsible? Maybe I should have “a strong financial incentive for…owners to keep these weapons out of the hands of people who might commit crimes with them,” right? To enlighten you, almost 36,000 people die yearly from auto accidents. That is double the number of people murdered by firearms yearly.

Gentlemen, one case I was involved with was a bank robbing gang (Quaint, I know, but they still exist). Before they would rob the bank (Felony) with their stolen weapons (Felony), which they can’t possess because they have other felony convictions (Felony), they would steal two vehicles (Two more felonies). They would park the second car a few miles away from the target, then drive the first car to the bank. After robbing the bank, they would drive to the parked car, and use it to get away from the cops. Tell me, requiring me to contact an insurance company for a liability policy would help, how?

Granted, mass shooters won’t be concerned about their future premiums — but many owners would take steps to ensure their weapons are well secured…

Pardon me, define “well secured?” In my house or automobile should qualify. You enter either without my permission, at the least you are trespassing. If you are taking my property, it’s called burglary. If someone takes the saber on the wall in my office, and uses it for a robbery or assault, am I responsible for that? Perhaps I should stop there. I may give you some stupid ideas.

The logic is analogous to that underpinning car insurance. If you drive a car, you may seriously damage another person’s property or even kill them. To discourage reckless driving, the law makes you legally liable should this happen. For most people, the potential liability exceeds their savings, which is why all 50 states require car owners to buy car insurance so payments can be made in the event of an accident.

Where to start. For two educated people, such a blatant fallacy in this writing would get it thrown back by my high school English teacher. No, not all states require liability insurance to drive a car. Virginia does not, although you must pay a five-hundred-dollar fee.

Also, depending on the state, you do not need insurance, but “financial responsibility.” In my adopted home state of Texas, most major governments (e.g. Houston, Dallas) vehicles are not insured by a company. The owner (State, county or city) self-insures. You have a wreck with a Dallas dump truck, the city vehicle is at fault, they cut you a check. Or many major corporations (e.g. UPS, FEDEX) find it cheaper to be self-insured. They simply put up a $50,000-dollar deposit with the state and handle their own liability issues.

Finally, liability insurance is only required if you drive your vehicle on the public roads. A lawyer I know lives outside of Houston on a 1,200-acre ranch (Raises livestock on the side). He has a 1980 Volkswagen that has not been registered, inspected, or insured since 1981. It never goes off his ranch, so it is not required. Former president George W Bush has a ranch in Waco. If he kept his F-150 on his spread, there are no requirements for insurance.

If you want your intelligence insulted, read the rest of the column. It really concerns me that there are powerful people who read this propaganda as learned information. As a registered Republican, it really scares me that the RINO leadership of the party is selling the law-abiding American people out as we speak. And they don’t understand, or simply don’t care, Pelosi/Schumer et all are not stopping at “expanded background checks” for under 21-year olds. Their mission is to disarm the law-abiding citizens, and if that leaves Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public at the mercy of our criminal class, so be it.


Michael A. Thiac is a retired Army intelligence officer, with over 23 years experience, including serving in the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Middle East. He is also a retired police patrol sergeant, with over 22 years’ service, and over ten year’s experience in field training of newly assigned officers. He has been published at The American Thinker,, and on his personal blog, A Cop’s Watch.

Opinions expressed are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of current or former employers.

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2 thoughts on “No, Requiring Liability Insurance On Firearms Would Not Stop Gun Crime”

  1. Thanks for the response to the inaccurate W. Post article. It assumes there is an insurance market for deliberate gun injury. That does not exist. Auto insurers will deny deliberate auto injury; Homeowners Insurance Companies will deny deliberate gun injury; which unlike with autos, is the origin of most of that device’s violence. Reimbursement of deliberate injury in a criminal or suicidal act is prevented by decades of court findings that it is contrary to good public policy.

    • Thank you and excellent point on insurance denial, hadn’t thought of that. But you can see the pattern, much like medical malpractice. You make insurance too high for a doctor to afford, fewer MDs treat fewer patients. You make the cost of owning firearms too expensive for the public, specifically law abiding public, there are fewer law abiding gun owners. Criminals son’s care.

      Not to mention if you put stop all legal gun sales (Sporting goods store, gun shows, gun shows) the black market will fill that void for the criminal element.


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