Do you need Concealed Carry Insurance?

It's no secret that some people are not fans of concealed carry. And now that it's legal in every state, these people are looking for ways to make carrying concealed as difficult as possible.

One suggestion that keeps coming up is forcing ccw licensees to buy concealed carry insurance. The argument is that since armed self defense can lead to legal liability, some form of concealed carry liability insurance should be required just as it often is for other potentially dangerous activities, such as driving a car.

Here are a couple excerpts from an article in the left-leaning Huffington Post titled Do We Need Gun Insurance for Concealed Carry Permits?

Now that Illinois has become the 50th state to allow citizens to carry guns hidden under their clothing, it is a good time to look at how the general public feels about being exposed to them. Some people do believe that guns do make us safer, but a lot of people are not comfortable knowing that anyone around them may be armed. The risk from criminals with illegal guns is bad enough, but a shootout in a public place is much scarier. Gun proponents claim that "an armed society is a polite society;" but who wants to be polite because they're terrified and while many people do react to fear by behaving with discretion, it's the dangerous ones who may become far less "polite."

Okay, now we know how the author feels about concealed carry. Here's his suggestion: require carry insurance!

The normal way in our society that we deal with dangerous activities that affect the public is to require insurance. Having this requirement has a number of benefits: it provides for victims, it allows insurance companies to press for safety with rates and other means, and it creates a sense of responsibility for the insured.

Since the tragedy at Newtown CT, nine states and the District of Columbia have considered requiring insurance for gun owners in general. None of these measures have been adopted so far. I believe that a broad form of insurance that protects all shooting victims will be a part of the solution to the gun violence problem and write about that on my own blog. But there are problems such as enforcing an insurance mandate for illegal guns or for legal ones in the face of opposition to gun registration. There are workable solutions to these problems, but it will take time to develop suitable legislation.

There are serious problems with this logic.

  • Bad guys carry "hidden" guns no matter what the law says.
  • Bad guys are the primary cause of "gun violence."
  • Bad guys won't buy concealed carry insurance.
  • Therefore, the only people affected by requirements for any form of concealed carry liability insurance would be responsible gun owners who are not likely to do anything illegal or harm anyone.

So once again, those who don't like the idea of citizens bearing arms conflate ordinary gun owners with bad guys and the remedy for violence is to pass laws that won't affect those causing the violence.

To be fair, the author of the article quoted above admits that ccw permit holders are generally responsible people. But that epiphany doesn't stop him from simultaneously thinking that they present a grave danger to society and must be subjected to yet more regulation, in this case carry insurance.

There is absolutely no proof that the millions of Americans who carry firearms for protection pose any significant risk to others. In fact, there is evidence from various studies that those with concealed gun licenses are actually more law-abiding than the general public. But don't be surprised if some states eventually adopt insurance requirements anyway.

After failing to stop concealed carry from sweeping the nation, the anti-gun activists and their media friends are looking for alternatives to push back against gun owners.

And one ironic thing to consider: While law-abiding gun owners who carry don't pose a risk to other citizens, these anti-gun zealots pose a risk for gun owners. When you use a firearm to defend yourself, you can be subjected to all sorts of legal harassment and financial "payback," so you DO need some form concealed carry insurance to defend yourself against criminal and civil action.

It would be funny if it weren't so sad.