Before a buyer can purchase a car or a home in Washington state, they must show proof of insurance. This same concept could soon apply to future firearm sales under Senate Bill 5795. The bill will require people buying a firearm to have proof of a liability insurance policy at the time of purchase. Additionally, firearm sellers will be required to verify that buyers have coverage.

“I fully believe in Second Amendment rights, however, with those rights come great responsibilities,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, the prime sponsor of the bill. “We see the destructive power of guns almost nightly on the news and yet we do not require gun owners to have any type of liability insurance. Requiring liability insurance may cause an irresponsible gun owner to exercise extra care in preventing firearm-related accidents, especially in tragic accidents involving children.”

Under the bill, proof of liability insurance would be required for all gun sales as soon as the legislation takes effect. Firearms sales made prior to the passage of the bill will not be affected.

Firearms purchased for the use of any department or agency or subdivision of the state or the United States would be exempt from the insurance requirement of this bill. Violations of the requirement to either provide proof of insurance, or in the case of the seller, verify insurance at the time of the purchase will result in a fine of up to $10,000.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee but has not yet had a public hearing.