Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, today, I am proud to introduce an important piece of legislation: the Firearms Risk Protection Act (FRPA). This bill will require gun owners to purchase liability coverage and to show proof of that coverage when they purchase a firearm. This is an idea whose time has come. In fact, lawmakers in several states including Massachusetts and Illinois have introduced similar legislative proposals.
In the wake of horrific tragedies like those at Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson, we as a society and we as lawmakers must provide answers. We must respect Americans' rights to own guns but limit gun violence and gun death. We must continue to enable guns to be used in a lawful and safe manner by responsible citizens and we must keep guns out of the hands of others. We must make sure the atrocities we have witnessed never happen again.
This federal requirement would serve as a market-based solution to holding gun owners liable for the weapons they own. As with car insurance premiums, higher risk gun owners will face higher premiums. Actuarial determinations will be made by insurance companies, as those experts are in the best position to make those determinations based on sound data analysis.
Under the Firearms Risk Protection Act (FRPA), state regulated insurance companies would be able to extend coverage to their customers--this is not a federal insurance program. Additionally, this bill poses no specific requirements on insurance companies themselves, but instead, imposes a fine of $10,000 if during the sale of a weapon the seller does not confirm coverage or the buyer has not purchased it.
As lawmakers, we must stand ready to work on solutions to curtail our nation's gun violence and requiring liability coverage for gun owners should be part of the solution. I urge my colleagues to join in supporting this important piece of legislation.