We’ve reported previously on Cook County’s proposed “Violence Tax,” which would put a five cent per round tax on ammunition and a $25 per gun flat tax on any firearms sold in the county. And we’ve reported on the fact that they’re dropping the ammo tax part. The proposed law still has people up in arms (not literally, yet), but here’s the thing that we’re forgetting: there already is a tax on firearms in the United States that’s used to defray the cost of activities with guns. It’s called the Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, and its been in place since 1937 . . .
Since the enactment of that law, an 11% tax (10% on handguns) has been levied against the sale of all firearms and ammo in the Land of the Free. The money goes to the Department of the Interior and is redistributed to the states based on the percentage of licensed hunters in each state.
It’s a way to defray the cost of hunter licensing and game wardens and such, with half the money given to the states mandated to be used for creation and maintenance of ranges and hunter education programs. Which is why I got so pissed off when Pennsylvania closed their state gamelands ranges to anyone without a hunting license or permit — I already paid for that range by purchasing a gun.
So while this new tax (A) doesn’t make logical sense since it punishes law abiding citizens instead of criminals, (B) won’t do a damned thing to help Chicago’s murder problem and (C) further proves that Chicago is a terrible place to live, its not really unprecedented.