As a mobster might put it, Ronald Reagan was not a friend of ours. As California’s Governor, Ronnie curtailed gun rights. As President, he elevated the ATF to full agency status and supported the Brady Bill. Still, the Gipper knew how government thinks: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” In other words, they get you coming and going. We can see this all-embracing ethos in the current push for civilian disarmament. Specifically, surcharges. In its recent package of gun ban bills, Connecticut added a $35 per person fee for mandatory “eligibility certificates to purchase guns and ammo.” Not to be outdone on the tax side, California is working on adding to the cost of ammo . . .
The California Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee recently approved a new measure that places a 10 percent tax on all ammunition sold in California. Law enforcement agencies will be exempt from the tax.
The Board of Equalization estimates that the new tax will generate $92.4 million in annual revenues.
Democratic Assemblymen Rob Bonta and Roger Dickinson, who both support the bill, hope to use the new revenue to help cities that are plagued with gun violence. Bonta explained, “Cities throughout the state, including Oakland, are suffering horrific and increasing gun violence. AB 187 will provide the City of Oakland, and cities in similar circumstances, with sufficient street-level public safety presence to prevent gun violence and attend to it when it does occur.”
The 10 percent ammo sales tax would include gun show sales. But wait! This could well be a tax on a tax. Dickinson’s other bill on the matter(AB 760) would impose a five cent tax on every round of ammunition sold in California. As opposingviews.com points out, “ironically, the tax would be more expensive than the actual bullets.”
Ironic is one word for it. I bet you guys can think of some others. Anyway, a “tax bullets” measure failed in Illinois. What’s the bet it’ll make it through the legislature in America’s western-most slave state?