Last week, Washington become the second state in the country to ban the National Rifle Association’s Carry Guard insurance. The policies are liability coverage for gun owners who use their firearms for self-defense and are sometimes referred to as murder insurance.
The insurance gives an upfront payout to cover the cost of legal fees if a policy holder is involved in a shooting. The policies extend coverage even if a person ends up pleading guilty or is convicted of a crime, such as homicide.
Washington state officials said the Carry Guard policies are illegal because you can’t insure a criminal act.
But Chris Thobaben, a Marine Corps officer and 2020 candidate for Washington state representative, said he has a better idea.
Thobaben proposes requiring gun owners to make a one-time payment at the point of purchase. That payment would be for an insurance policy that would stay attached to the gun for its lifespan, even if it’s sold.
“So if gun No. 11567 is used to kill John Smith, John Smith's family is subject to receive the payout of John Smith's life value,” Thobaben explained.
The policy upends the traditional insurance model. It doesn’t cover the shooter, only the victim of gun violence.
And Thobaben's plan might catch on.
He said his proposal has support from the gun control group Moms Demand Action and members of the NRA.