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Prohibit theft insurance for firearms

Encourage owners finacially to secure their guns against theft.
  (+2, -4)
(+2, -4)
  [vote for,

I know I'm treading on thin ice here regarding advocacy, and getting a gun control debate started, but I had an idea that seemed good to me. I'll throw it out here to be picked apart.

From what I've heard, here in the USA, many homeowners’ insurance policies cover the replacement cost of guns that are stolen up to some value such as $1000 to $5000. Additional coverage can also be purchased. Aguably, the worst part about guns being stolen is not the financial damage to the owner; it is the damage to society of the guns getting into the hands of known criminals. Therefore, to ensure that gun owners/collectors take every possible precaution to ensure that the guns are not stolen, selling insurance against theft should not generally be allowed.

I've heard of proposed laws to force owners to properly secure their weapons against theft, but those are often intrusive and controversial. A law prohibiting insurance against theft would simply drive home the point that every owner is responsible. If they don't secure their weapons properly, while they may not actually end up carrying the full burden placed on society, they at least cannot pass off the financial burden.

Insurance against destruction seems fine as long as there is reasonable evidence of actual destruction (for example the charred barrel dug from the ashes of a house fire). Also, insuring an antique weapon that is valued based on history rather than effectiveness would seem reasonable as well. Maybe only allow insuring the portion of the value that is more than some multiple of the cost of a new weapon with similar functionality. For example, a 1776 musket, is probably less effective than the cheapest .22 single shot pistol, so it would be nearly fully insurable. A fully automatic WWI weapon, which is illegal to replace, would not be insurable, even though it has significant value as an antique.

I respectfully request that we don't debate whether this idea goes far enough in the direction of gun control. That is another issue all together. This idea is intended as a fairly easily implemented incremental step in the right direction that does not significantly infringe on anyone's rights.

scad mientist, Jun 19 2013


       Black hole time, every country has some issue that is impossible to solve, in the UK it's the trains, in Japan it's overwork, in the US it's gun control.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 19 2013

       // I know I'm treading on thin ice here //   

       But you walked all the way out here anyway, dintcha? What's your plan for getting back?   

       Before [21] gets in here and says something predictably right-wing like "my firearm _is_ my insurance," I would like to point out that firearm theft coverage is an option on most policies, and those of us who choose to pay extra are also of the demographic who own and use gunsafes and trigger locks.
Alterother, Jun 19 2013

       seems to be awful close to a [WIBNI]
theircompetitor, Jun 20 2013

       // I wouldn't mind a law requiring insurance for firearms to cover any damages or injuries resulting from a stolen firearm. // Yes, THAT would be nice, but it's pretty much impossible to know what damage is caused. Even if a gun is found at some crime scene, there's generally no way to know how many other crimes scenes it was present at before that, especially if it didn't get fired.   

       Since we can't insure against all the damage that could be caused to others, it seems wrong to cover the finacial damage to the person who didn't lock the gun up well enough. It would be like allowing a person to have collision insurance for a car without having liability insurance. Granted sometimes damage caused with a car is not traced back to the car used either, but I suspect that the vast majority (at least in terms of dollars damage) does get assigned correctly with cars. I assume the majority of damage done with a stolen gun will not be traceable.   

       I'll go out on a limb and assume you don't believe it is unconstituional for the government to require liability insurance for automobiles, so why would it be unconstitutional for the government to prohibit some kind of insurance when having that insurance could result in more carelessness, and ther is generally not a "need" to immediately replace a stolen gun.   

       Regarding counterproductive, I'd love to hear your reasoning on that, since this idea may not be that well thought out.   

       [Alterother] I agree that many gun owners do take appropriate precautions and or feel that "my firearm _is_ my insurance". Therefore I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that supporters or our right to bear arms might think this was an okay idea as well.   

       Oh, and my exit plan, assuming there are no great insites made in the annotation, is [delete].
scad mientist, Jun 20 2013

       Up here in the Great White North it's mandatory to have a gun safe if you have a gun, so the Idea isn't really applicable.   

       In the 'States, whether you believe the defense rights defined by 2A is community or personal, its spirit requires that liability insurance can't be mandated and theft insurance can't be prohibited, for such weapons.   

       Skirting "punish people who do <x>".
FlyingToaster, Jun 20 2013

       In the UK, there are some things for which you have a legal requirement to hold insurance. That's the only legal stipulation.   

       The commercial details are then managed by the insurers.   

       So if this were applied to the gun control question - it might be sensible to legally mandate all gun owners take out some kind of insurance. That way, the government imposition left to a minimum - and at the same level as is currently acceptable for say, vehicle ownership.   

       Then, the insurance companies can deal with the details of mandating/pricing their insurance based on secure lockups, keeping ammo separated etc.
zen_tom, Jun 20 2013

       Most of the annotations here don't seem related to the idea, unless I'm being obtuse. The essence of the idea was that by not insuring guns against theft, gun owners might take greater measures to prevent them being stolen.   

       Whether that's the case or not I don't know. But that was the idea, I think.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 20 2013

       //Most of the annotations here don't seem related to the idea//   

       Hi, [MaxwellBuchanan], and welcome to the Halfbakery! Be sure to read the help file before you post.
ytk, Jun 20 2013

       Maybe I wasn't clear. I certainly am not against someone buying _liability_ insurance that covers damage done with their stolen gun. Prohibiting that would definitely be counterproductive. It seems that we disagree on how effective that might be, but I don't have any real data to support my opinion on that.   

       But do you think that prohibiting _replacement_ insurance for stolen guns would be counterproductive as well, or is that part mearly unconstitutional?   

       Analogized with auto insurance is not ideal. My point was that if the government has the right to require insurance, why can't it prohibit certain forms or insurance.   

       Regarding the argument about insurance encouraging reckless behavior, I know that I personally have driven a little more carefully since I dropped the collision coverage on my car. I wouldn't say that I drove recklessly before, but the fact of the insurance going away drove home the point that I am completely responsible for ensuring I don't reck my car.   

       As for gun safes, those only provide so much protection. A friend of a friend had a gun safe bolted to the concrete floor. The robber left 4 holes behind in the concrete. Storing guns in a safe bolted to the floor is by not "reckless" by any standard that I've heard of, but knowing that there is no insurance might cause many owners to add at least one more layer of security depending on their situation. I like a system where each person can evaluate how risky their situation is and take the appropriate precautions.
scad mientist, Jun 20 2013

       Should we add a new acronymn here?: TWSAGD
(This will start a gun debate.)
xandram, Jun 20 2013

       // its [2nd ammendment's] spirit requires that liability insurance can't be mandated and theft insurance can't be denied, for such weapons. // Hmm, I'm actually having a hard time now trying to counter that. I think prohibiting theft insurance may be less of a violation than some of the current laws, but that's no reason to make an additional violation. Especially since the benefit would be fairly small.
scad mientist, Jun 20 2013

       Should I just delete this idea, or does that unfairly leave me with no bones in my list of ideas. (Or will this comment inspire someone to go put some bones on some of my other ideas?)
scad mientist, Jun 20 2013

       //or does that unfairly leave me with no bones in my list of ideas.// No comment, although I'm sure we could rustle up a few bones from somewhere if it helps...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 20 2013

       You could have some of mine, I never use them. They're a bit dusty, but still in showroom condition.
Alterother, Jun 20 2013

       If one or all of my guns were stolen, I'd use most or all of the reimbursement to replace them (except my PSO-1, that double-tapping piece of shit), so what's wrong with replacement coverage?   

       Since I built a couple of my guns myself (not fabricated, but assembled from specifically chosen individual components), I already have a special "clause" in my policy to cover them. It's pricey; $230/year to cover a rifle worth an estimated $3,000.
Alterother, Jun 22 2013

       //It's pricey; $230/year to cover a rifle worth an estimated $3,000.//   

       That seems really high. And I don't understand why it would be a higher premium for a custom rifle than a stock one of the same value.   

       If it's really that costly, why pay for the insurance anyway? You're betting that your rifle will be stolen in the next few years, and with each year the bet becomes worse. Does it really make sense to bet $1500 at 1:1 that your rifle will be stolen in the next 6.5 years?
ytk, Jun 22 2013

       Pardon my incompleteness.   

       It's $230/year for all my guns, and that is a tad high, and that's the point; most policy add-ons are around $100, a figure I meat to include in my previous anno. The added cost is because my 6.8mm is classified generically as a 'modified rifle' due to the extent of my modifications. Insurance companies don't like unknown factors, such as a firearm constructed from components bearing over a dozen brand names, some of which I modified myself after purchase. Their real gripe, however, is that the lower receiver, the upper receiver, and the barrel all have different serial numbers.
Alterother, Jun 22 2013

       You mean...you don't get a courtesy gun until you can get around to buying the replacement(s)? What shoddy service.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 22 2013


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