Dems sponsor bill for 20% tax on guns, 50% on ammo

Handguns on display

Two Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation that would impose a hefty tax on firearm sales, and an even greater one on sales of ammunition.

H.R. 3018, “The Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2013,” was proposed by U.S. Reps. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the excise tax and special occupational tax in respect of firearms and to increase the transfer tax on any other weapon, and for other purposes,” according to the bill’s preamble.

The legislation would impose a 20 percent tax on “(A) Pistols, (B) Revolvers, (C) Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers), and (D) Any lower frame or receiver for a firearm, whether for a semiautomatic pistol, rifle, or shotgun that is designed to accommodate interchangeable upper receivers.”

The bill would also impose a 50 percent tax on “Shells and cartridges.”

Each sponsor delivered a statement concurrent with the bill’s introduction.

”It has been well over two decades since tax rates were last adjusted on firearms and ammunition, and I believe it is appropriate that we look to these taxes as a way to direct additional resources to law enforcement, background checks and gun violence research, Pascrell said in a press release. “This bill represents a major investment in the protection of our children and our communities, and reflects the long-term societal costs of gun and ammunition purchases in our country.”

In a separate press release, Davis said:

Gun violence is a daily reality for America and, in particular, for urban cities like Chicago. The crisis should outrage us all. This legislation is a pro-active approach to reducing gun violence by using proven preventive programs which have been starved for funds until now.  As part of a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy to reduce gun violence, this legislation closes major loopholes in tax law and lays out an equitable, long term, sustainable strategy to provide the requisite resources.

The Center for Disease Control recently published results of a study on firearm violence prepared at the direction of President Obama. Among other things, it indicated that deaths from accidental discharges and mass shootings are actually down, and represent a tiny fraction of firearm deaths.

The majority of firearm-related deaths are actually suicides, according to ther report.

The study also indicated that firearms are used more for self-protection than they are for the commission of a crime.

Given these statistics, it’s difficult to imagine how penalizing lawful gun and ammunition purchasers would have any effect on gun violence. The bill was introduced earlier this month in the GOP-controlled House, where it’ll likely die in committee.

Watch the news coverage, courtesy of FIOS1 New Jersey.


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