San Jose votes to be first US city to require gun liability insurance

(Reuters) - San Jose in California has backed legislation to become the first U.S. city requiring gun owners to have insurance coverage for their weapons.

San Jose's mayor said after the city council voted for the legislation on Tuesday that the funds raised from an annual fee and the liability insurance would go towards "evidence-based initiatives to reduce gun violence and gun harm."

"Thank you to my council colleagues who continue to show their commitment to reducing gun violence and its devastation in our community," Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement.

The decision still needs to be approved next month at its final reading to take effect in August, U.S. media said

Guns are a politically sensitive issue in the United States, which has the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, as well as a higher incidence of gun violence than other wealthy nations.

California became the first state to ban assault weapons in 1989 after a school shooting in which five children were killed. Six other states and the District of Columbia have an assault weapons ban in place, according to the gun safety group Giffords.