States and cities across America are pushing for higher taxes as a way to enact gun-control legislation.
Gun buyers in Chicago started paying a $25 tax on firearms last week, Politico reported
, and the measure is expected to bring in some $600,000 in new revenue annually.
Proponents of these measures say the additional revenue can offset the costs of gun violence and some of the proposals target the tax dollars to improve the mental health system.
Other jurisdictions around the country have pushed measures that would tax weapons and ammunition, as well as require gun owners to purchase insurance, though not all the attempts have been successful.
Other steps to enact such legislation, cited by Politico, include:
• A California legislative panel has scheduled a hearing for next week on a proposal to slap a tax on ammunition, and are considering a five-cents per bullet levy which would raise $50 million per year.
• A Nevada state assemblyman introduced a tax that would add $25 for the purchase of a gun and 2 cents per round of ammunition. The proceeds would fund mental health programs.
• New Jersey lawmakers are proposing a 5 percent sales tax on ammunition and guns, with the revenue targeted for school security improvements.
• Measures to enact a 50 percent tax on ammunition were introduced in Connecticut and Maryland, but both failed to be included in comprehensive gun control bills passed in those states.
• Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez of California has introduced federal legislation to enact a 10 percent tax on handguns with the proceeds used for gun buyback programs in an attempt to get weapons off the streets.
Gun Owners of America legislative counsel Michael Hammond told Politico that gun taxes are “an effort to say the poor can’t own firearms because we’re going to impose a tax which they can’t afford to pay.”
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