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Homeowner's insurance changes for gun owners
OKALOOSA COUNTY - In what appears to be a pre-emptive strike, a local legislator has filed a bill to regulate how insurance companies treat gun owners. Representative Matt Gaetz filed the legislation this week.
Laura Hussey "Right now when you apply for a Homeowner's Policy in the state of Florida, they don't even ask you if you own a gun. An insurance agent tells me the only case in which gun owners might be treated differently, could be limited coverage amounts in case of theft"
It might seem unnecessary to propose legislation about something that insurance companies here aren't doing. But gun rights supporters say it's just a matter of time.
Chuck Futrell "They are already using insurance as a tool in most of the big gun control states, especially in the Northeast"
There's been a talk on the national stage about requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance. Some people say it's an idea worth considering.
Pat Purdy/Shalimar "I feel like it would make people more responsible with their guns, if there was some insurance tied to it"
The crew at Patriot Arms Gun Store sees it as a sideways push for gun control.
Chuck Futrell "You'll see pushes to make gun ownership an onerous problem by having your insurance be extra expensive"
Representative Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach has filed a bill that says insurance companies can't charge gun owners what he calls "discriminatory rates", or cancel their policies for legally owning firearms. Lisa Pitre thinks the bill is on the right track.
Lisa Pitre/FWB "As a mom, to my family, protecting my children...I would think having a gun would actually add to my home and helping to protect it"
The proposed rules would apply to both home and auto insurance.
Laura Hussey "It's a long road through the legislature, but if the bill becomes law, it would take effect in July of 2014."