CA Gun Store Labels State Gun Tax ‘Gov’t Theft’ on Receipts

A gun store in National City, California has been the subject of a lot of discussion lately. Several weeks ago, the store gained national attention when a sign twirler hurt anti-gunners’ feelings with a chunk of cardboard shaped like an AR15. Now the store’s sales receipts have drawn attention. Firearms Unknown has chosen to label the line reserved for tax on their receipts as “Gov’t Theft.”

California charges a nine percent tax on gun sales, in addition to a mandatory $25 DROS charge. (DROS stands for Dealer’s Record Of Sale. California forces gun buyers to pay for state registration of their gun.) Although California gun owners are well aware of the fees involved, it’s good to see Firearms Unlimited exercising their First Amendment right of free speech to call the tax on their customers’ Second Amendment rights what it is…theft.

Firearms Unknown’s agitation — and the support the store has received from the gun community — proves that not all California residents are leftists who want to ban guns. As someone who fled the Golden State for the income tax-free Cowboy State (Wyoming), I’m happy to see that those I left behind continue to fight the good fight for firearms freedom. Whether or not they’re a lonely voice in the liberal wilderness, they deserve our support.


  1. avatar Accur81 says:

    Thank you for that. It’s nice to agree with Mrs. Tipton again! I just started the 10 day waiting period a few days ago for a Palmetto AR-15 and AR-10 lower. The taxes and fees ran me about $170. Those were my 8th and 9th gun purchases in 2016. For 2017 I’m looking more at revolvers, bolts, and lever guns.

  2. avatar JohnS says:

    To be clearer, it isn’t ‘just California’ nor ‘just guns’. Sales taxes go to the state: 6.25%, and the rest to county and city governments – see

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      My thought. A lot of local taxes there. Up here the tax is “only” 7.5%. But still it adds up quickly, especially when you are buying elsewhere and processing the purchase through a local FFL. The typical transfer fee charged by dealers for an item they did not sell is $75, plus the DROS, plus the sales tax. (Living in a small community, even with four or five LGSs aside from the 2 big box stores, this happens a lot because their stock is limited.) I work with a table top FFL who only charges $25 plus the DROS, but for an A10 lower I bought recently, fees, shipping and taxes totaled $80, almost 50% of the cost of the lower.

  3. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    “Whether or not they’re a relatively lonely voice in the liberal wilderness, they deserve our support”

    My internet “support” and five bucks will get you some coffee at Starbucks.

    By the way, you need to proofread.

    1. avatar Dan in CO says:

      Publicity, that’s support.

  4. avatar PeterW says:

    At least 25% of us are 50% sane, for sure.

  5. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    For those who haven’t been to CA the state isn’t as liberal as it seems.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      In what regard? It’s true that large swaths of the state (geographically speaking) are actually pretty red. But that doesn’t matter, because the LA area and the Bay Area are as blue as you can get, and the laws coming out of Sacramento reflect that

      1. avatar PROUD chicano says:

        In that exact way that you just mentioned.

      2. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        LA is a bit more multifaceted. Still overwhelmingly ostrich, but not quite the parody of itself that the Bay Area has become.

        Interestingly enough, the fact that the people in the Bay Area to such an overwhelming degree actually believe the nonsense they have been indoctrinated to believe, make the police there the friendliest anywhere (assuming you are a proper, non threatening white or asian. Or if not, dress up as one of the above’s gay doll.) While in LA, fear derived from the presence of the occasional nonbeliever, have turned the cops full on paramilitary, lest the majority freaks out that there may be someoene in their zipcode who don’t believe God was a lesbian Aboriginal woman with a learning disbility. And who may therefore threaten their home vaijues.

      3. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        Florida can be an example for the possibilities in California.. Most of the population centers in Florida trend to the D side of politics but overall this year the State fell to the R side even if just barely.

        Yes. It will take a huge amount of work but the rest of the California *can* overcome LA and SF.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          “… the rest of the California *can* overcome LA and SF.”

          Not when the deep blue Los Angeles and San Francisco areas alone comprise 65% of the state’s population … and ever more illegal immigrants keep pouring in from Mexico.

          Note that the ruling class currently in power in California wants illegal immigrants to keep pouring in: it guarantees that they will retain political power forever.

    2. avatar Doesky2 says:

      Thats because CA isn’t liberal….it’s leftist.

      When you swim in an ocean of leftism long enough you begin to forget that you’re in the ocean.

  6. avatar Mac says:

    Not that it makes a difference, but that is the sales tax, which applies to all merchandise sales like the butt stock in the receipt in the article photo, not just guns. It also varies by city (it happens to be 9% in National City). As the author mentions, the DROS fee is the extra slap in the face for gun buyers.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      It’s multiple taxation: sales tax plus DROS / BG check / handgun safety certificate / transfer fees, etc. You’d think that the state of CA could do some things for “free” given sales tax that is so high.

      1. avatar Roger Dogger says:

        They do a lot for “free”. Free healthcare, phones, food stamps, welfare, and on and on for anyone who applies for it. Illegal or not. We pay and pay for this and it keeps the immigrants coming.

  7. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    I’ve bought a few of my rifles up in Montana just to avoid the taxes. Still can’t buy handguns outside a state of residence though… contrary to the bullshit pushed by the anti’s.

    1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Technically you can, or at least could a few years ago. Still had to be on the white list, had to be shipped to ffl inside ca, still had to dros, etc…

      Totally not worth it, and few stores outside of ca bother, except some right inside of Nevada, like the cabelas on I 80.

      Ok. It might have been stopped by new legislation.

  8. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Negan wants his cut.

    1. avatar Merchant says:

      Livin’ on easy street.

  9. avatar GS650G says:

    Bought mine in delaware. 0% sales tax.

  10. avatar Roymond says:

    If they can levy a $9per item tax on guns, why can’t they have a $9 per copy tax on newspapers? or charge $9 per ballot for voting? or $9 to go to church? or charge the accused $9 per juror to have a jury trial?

    1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      Jury deposits vary, but they were higher than that the only time I ever had to consider the idea.

  11. avatar Roger Cain says:

    I can only wish deadly cancer on those who hate and fight to destroy the 2nd Amendment.
    They are traitorous cowards and nothing more.

  12. avatar James in AZ says:

    School me if you can,

    isn’t this whole “sales tax” (in general) thingy double taxation? I mean, income is already taxed right?

    1. avatar Joel says:

      sales tax is the tax I hate the least. Here in Texas, we don’t have a state tax. Only sales tax. Which means we aren’t double taxed on a state level. What I like the most is everyone pays. From the slug living on welfare, to the oil tycoon. It’s simple.

      1. avatar Omer Baker says:

        I’d like to see all taxes, from sales or income, down to 0. We’re not double taxes, probably more like quadruple-cubed-squared taxed. Every business that makes something is taxed, sometimes double taxed, and that business passes those taxes onto whomever buys their products. Now imagine all the individual products that go into the products that you buy, or the products that go into the processing of the things you buy. If you’ve never read the essay I Pencil by Leonard Reed I highly recommend it, but think about all that stuff is taxed, THEN you’re taxed on it. I wouldn’t doubt that 75% of all money is taxed in some way, shape, or form. I would prefer one income tax that you have to pay in one lump sum, due the day BEFORE election day.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Could be worse. We could have a VAT.

      1. avatar Roger Dogger says:

        Yes we have VAT. Just like the man said, taxes on every level of making a product. Earnings, sales, business, property and gov’t regulations.
        I buy as much as possible via internet to avoid it. I choose sites that do not charge CA tax and get free shipping.

  13. avatar Jonathan Waits says:

    What else do you call the collection of funds through threat of violence? Taxation is theft and Lysander Spooner is my home boy.

    1. avatar Omer Baker says:

      NICE! Lysander Spooner shout out!

      NO TREASON!!!

    2. avatar Salty Bear says:

      “If taxation without consent is not robbery, then any band of robbers have only to declare themselves a government, and all their robberies are legalized.” – Lysander Spooner

  14. avatar Swilson says:

    Right on man!

  15. avatar Michael says:

    Reason 17 of 481 that I left Commifornia. A few parts aren’t liberal, but the vast majority of the residents are.

    Between sales taxes, income tax, unemployment taxes, severance taxes and a whole host of others, the place bleeds you dry. I took a $30,000 a year pay cut but now, in my low tax state (Alaska) see my take home is up and my out of pocket taxes are less.

  16. avatar My Life Matters says:

    I’m about to exit Louisiana for their ridiculous taxes. New governor Bell Edwards ran on the promise of no new taxes. Within two weeks of entering office he proposed raising taxes. Never trust a Democrat ever! And no I did not vote for him.

  17. avatar Cal S. says:

    Poll taxes. Gotta love them.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    I feel your pain. Got sky high taxes in Cook co,IL,$25 handgun tax and boo-lit tax too. Soooo…I try not to buy a damn thing here. I usually make the jump to Indiana and my next handgun is either internet and transferred to a nearby county(who all HATE Cook) or buy at a shop in Will or Grundy county. Sorry your whole crappy state suck…

  19. avatar CGinTX says:

    Geez, TTAG – that’s a very misleading headline, and the receipt shown has ZERO gun-specific fees shown on it. Not even the DROS charge. Just the quickest of searches will tell you that National City charges a 9% SALES tax. Not (as your headline states, and the article supports) a “gun tax.”

    As a former California resident, Ms. Tipton (whom I am normally warmer towards that many commenters) is well aware of the state’s love of taxation, so it’s a bit disingenuous to write this entire article about the “gun tax” there, and this store’s brave stand against it.

    If one trusts Google, there are only 5 states without a state-level sales tax, so this is hardly a Californian thing.

  20. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    Still haven’t proofread the article.

  21. avatar Toddidit says:

    Good old Nasty City.

  22. avatar Barry Roberts says:

    But even more amusing than the anti-tax message is the acronym for the name of the store. Giving the gubmint a big FU.

  23. avatar Robin says:

    I am soo wishing for Calexit. I hate that state

  24. avatar justaman says:

    All tax is theft. legalized and taken by force.

  25. avatar Samuel Grim says:

    I think it should also be noted that, per the receipt pictured, the store have the buyer a 20.01% discount, which just so happens to come out to $25.01, which to me seems to basically cover the DROS free in this instance. I’m guessing that’s not coincidental.

  26. avatar Josey Wales says:

    You don’t pay taxes, they take them. That’s a “jack” where I come from

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