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California will ban people from carrying firearms in most public places while doubling the taxes on guns and ammunition sold in the state under two new laws Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Tuesday that will test the limits of the U.S. Supreme Court’s new standard for interpreting the Second Amendment.

The federal government already taxes the sale of guns and ammunition at either 10% or 11%, depending on the type of gun. The law Newsom signed adds another 11% tax on top of that — making California the only state with a separate tax on guns and ammunition, according to the gun control advocacy group Brady.

The money will pay for security improvements at public schools and a variety of gun violence prevention programs, including those geared toward young people in gangs. The money from the federal tax, which has been in place for more than 100 years, pays for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs. …

The law says the first $75 million of that money must go to the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program. The program has funded projects targeting young people in gangs, including sports programs, life coaching and tattoo removal.

The next $50 million would go to the State Department of Education to boost security at public schools. That includes things like physical security improvements, safety assessments, after-school programs for at-risk students and mental and behavioral health services for students, teachers and other school employees.

— Adam Beam in California Governor Signs Law Raising Taxes on Guns and Ammunition to Pay for School Safety

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    • Why does TTAG have a problem with this tax when they have had multiple articles celebrating the conservation benefits of the special Federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition?

      That tax is also wrong (even though there probably are some conservation benefits).

      • Because I don’t want the entire wild animal population in the USA hunted to extinction. That is why this ammo tax exists. To support the managed regular culling of the herd.

        • While I have no issue paying the Pittman–Robertson wildlife tax, it is still a tax, narrowly applied to something that is a right, and is IMHO unconstitutional as being no different than a poll tax.

          If the P-R tax were to include, say all sporting goods [perhaps minus clothing?] (golf, hiking, camping, etc), then it wouldn’t be a narrow tax on a right.

        • Taxation is theft…no matter how you slice it. Reminds me of property and gas tax…oh it’s to have good schools and good roads…we all know that is a farce…

        • That’s a non-sequitur Chris.

          There are other ways to pay for conservation. We pay trillions of dollars a year in income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and a nearly Infinite list of other taxes. That money could and should be used for conservation.

          Why should a purely defensive handgun like a .380 Ruger LCP (and it’s ammo) specifically be taxed to pay for wildlife conservation. It has nothing to do with it.

          The fact is that it is a bad law.

      • As Chris T states, the government identified a problem with overhunting, was back before any of us were born. To address that problem, they looked around for a source of funding. They decided that hunters and sportsmen should fund wildlife. Few of us actually LIKE paying taxes, but most of us are willing to pay that wildlife tax. Some of us are happy, even proud to pay it. We pay for management of wildlife, that’s the way it is.

        The tax in California isn’t going to do anything to benefit hunters, sportsmen, or anyone really. The tax is a punishment, because the political machine in California hates us, hates our guns, hates conservation, and most of all, they have the utmost contempt for their citizens.

        Hope that helps to put things in perspective.

        • It sounds to me like the CA tax is a wealth transfer from law-abiding gun owners to gang members, funding athletic clubs and expensive life coaching… so both a punishment and an insult.

        • From the article:

          “The money will pay for security improvements at public schools and a variety of gun violence prevention programs, including those geared toward young people in gangs.”

          Basically taking money via tax from people who are responsible and giving it to people who are irresponsible.

        • to Paul
          The utopians are going to be the death of us. They would be satisfied if our civil rights were completely destroyed.To fit their weird inverted world views.

          When they tell you, they think “beyond” the bill of rights, they think “beyond” the US constitution. You should never let them have any political power.

        • Which can be done by taxing hunting directly.

          A tax on firearms and ammunition clearly fails the Star Tribune test.

        • “The utopians . . . think “beyond” the bill of rights, they think “beyond” the US constitution.”

          Who are the utopians trying to think beyond the BOR by subordinating it to an “I want” / “I don’t want” (even lower than that struck down in Bruen) standard? Newsom at least is claiming to try to protect human lives – unlike the almost entirely recreational programs paid for by Pittman-Robertson, which could never Constitutionally be considered a “compelling state interest”. The BOR exists precisely because of “good idea fairies” who are completely OK with tyranny as long as it accomplishes something “nice”. It doesn’t care what you want, or what anyone votes for, until and unless they reach the threshold required for amendment.

          Is management of vital natural resources a compelling state interest? Absolutely. Is there anything special that makes it impossible to enforce via regular taxes? Absolutely not.

          Again, the issue is singling out an enumerated right. Similar to what 300BLK and Mark in Az noted elsewhere, neither the fact that reporters pay the same income taxes as everyone else, nor that art galleries pay the same property taxes, violate 1A. If OTOH there were a special tax levied against rabbis, that would be categorically unacceptable regardless of what “good” it could supposedly accomplish, even for them.

        • to Umm…

          People have told me here on TTAG in the passed to let the animals be hunted to extinction.
          That Says a great deal about how people think today. And it certainly was not how the population was thinking over a century ago. When this ammunition tax was implemented.

          It just goes to show how different people think today versus yesterday. When it comes to managing the environment. I’m perfectly happy to let these utopians take the public position of allowing the entire wild animal populations of the united states to go extinct.

          The “sunlight” has always been the best disinfectant.

          The problem with them is that they are intellectually dishonest. They know the general population would not support. Allowing all the wild animals in this country be shot to extinction. And many took this position in the 1990s and early 2000s.
          I use to listen to Libertarian talk radio all the time. But on their own radio format, they let their guard down and started speaking the truth.

          I want taxes to be as low as possible. And I want fewer of them.

          But if you’re one of those that wants the government to hand out “free” condoms or “free” needles. Then you are just another in a long line of utopians. Who wants the government to create your version of a perfect world.
          And you’ll support higher taxes because you want that “free” stuff.

          The hunters aren’t getting anything for “free.” They pay the ammunition tax. They pay the tag fees they pay for the hunting license. And The entire cost of the hunt itself.

        • Paul and Chris,
          Let’s put this into a proper historical perspective. When that law was passed most guns and ammo were probably used for hunting purposes.

          A hundred years later, the situation has radically changed. Most ammo is not used for hunting, and most guns aren’t either.

          Therefore the law needs to be amended.

          Yes, it is sometimes appropriate to alter or abolish a law 😱.

          You can keep your excise tax on soft point hunting rifle ammo, and turkey load shotgun shells. You can keep your tax on long barreled shotguns and hunting rifles.

          Take the tax off of handguns, defensive carbines, short barreled shotguns, plinking guns, competition guns, long range target guns, and the ammo used for them.

          Until then, defensive shooters, recreational plinkers, target shooters, and competitive shooters will have to keep subsidizing the hunters.

          Frankly we pay plenty of other taxes, and some of that money should really be used to pay for conservation.

        • Chris T in KY,
          I agree with you completely. I oppose government (or any) handouts for anyone, for any reason. I also believe 100% in maintaining the environment as an environment, i.e. a safe, healthy, sustainable place to live / means to human ends.

          Art out West,
          The problem is much worse than “defensive shooters subsidizing the hunters”. A huge portion of those taxes subsidize antigun, hunter-hating “animals are people too” cultist freaks who believe things should have rights enforceable against human citizens. Uncannily, I just saw this example this morning:

  1. “The money will pay for security improvements at public schools and a variety of gun violence prevention programs, including those geared toward young people in gangs.”

    This is a ‘poll tax’ type thing, and a lie, and is unconstitutional.

    1. “security improvements at public schools” are already part of the tax base paid in normal taxes.

    2. “and a variety of gun violence prevention programs” …. first its not ‘gun violence’, its criminal violence and its called ‘crime’ and such ‘programs’ for crime is already part of the tax base paid in normal taxes.

    So not only is a gun owner paying for these things already in normal taxes, they are paying for them again above normal tax rates, and no one else not a gun owner who exercises a constitutional right is being additionally taxed for the exercise of their constitutional rights. This is an unconstitutional ‘fee’ in the form of tax burden upon gun owners to exercise a constitutional right.

    • 1. “security improvements at public schools” are already part of the tax base paid in normal taxes.
      Except it moves the funding source from one state/federal tax, to another, allowing the state to fund new, additional things. It’s similar to how lotteries were “sold” to the public… “All income from lotteries will go to education”. Yes, that’s true, but the amount spent on education will not increase.

      Still should be struck down as unconstitutional…

  2. When will these so-called lawmakers get slapped down. Purposely making baseless, fraudulent laws is a waste of money and time that could be put to better use.

  3. I wouldn’t count on the courts too much, since:

    -They default to rubberstamping anything govs call a tax

    -There’s a long-standing Federal precedent

    -Worst of all, CA can point to plenty of “POTG” who routinely praise that precedent of singling out an enumerated right for taxation.

    • Umm,

      Taxation is a “sticky wicket” in the courts. The U.S. Constitution explicitly grants the federal government power to tax. That said, I believe the U.S. Constitution limits that taxation to taxes on imports/exports if I understand that correctly (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8) and “income” (U.S. Constitution, Amendment 16). Of course we also have the legal backdrop where the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “poll taxes”.

      My best guess is that the courts (if they actually carry out their ethical, legal, and Constitutional duty) would strike down all taxes of any guise on the domestic selling/purchasing of firearms because acquiring firearms is a Constitutionally enumerated right.

      For reference I am not an attorney and my opinion above could be totally incorrect. Any attorneys on this forum care to chime in?

      • It’s the excuse they gave to declare Osamacare constitutional.

        Poll taxes were specifically prohibited by a [relatively recent] amendment.

        “strike down all taxes of any guise on the domestic selling/purchasing of firearms because acquiring firearms is a Constitutionally enumerated right.”

        I agree with you that it’s unconstitutional and unacceptable, but – as both Art out West and I previously pointed out – not only have Pittman-Robertson taxes survived for decades, but countless so-called “allies” (in comments and even articles on TTAG) see singling out an enumerated right for taxation as a wonderful gift.

      • My last two comments were ghosted and never appeared on TTAG today. What’s up with this again, Dan?

        Here’s another attempt at what I tried to post here:

        I’ve always wondered…have asked about…and have never received a satisfactory answer for this question of mine:

        If I have a small business that brings in $100K in gross income, but I spent $80K in expenses to run that business, I’m taxed on the true realized net income of $20K.

        But if my personal earnings are $100K in gross income, then even with the gov’s gracious allowance of some exemptions (let’s say $20K), I’m taxed at a net income of $80K.

        Two entities (business vs. personal) earning the same $100K in income, but the tax burden on my household is much heavier than on the small business. Why can’t I deduct the $80K I spent over the year to support my family, and be taxed on the remaining “profit” of $20K like a business is?

      • “That said, I believe the U.S. Constitution limits that taxation to taxes on imports/exports if I understand that correctly…”

        That may be, but I personally don’t have a problem with some ‘sin taxes’, like alcohol and tobacco. The more of either one consumes, they are not better off…

    • You don’t challenge it in court as a tax. The challenge has to clearly state that the “tax” is an infringement on the Second Amendment. I’ve read some of the challenges that the gun rights organizations are pushing through, and watched a bunch of videos on the subject.. They avoid peripherals such as an “unjust tax” or whatever. They go right to the meat of the matter: Government is infringing on Second Amendment and other civil rights with their actions.

      No rubber stamping here, unless our side is silly enough to chase that red herring.

      • Sometimes politicians dance around the laws using terminology or smoke-and-mirrors to get their wishes fulfilled.

        For example, here in CA a “tax” may only be levied by our Legislature. But a “fee” may be implemented by the Governor directly with any involvement of the Legislature. Because of my property’s location along an area of certain open land, former Gov Jerry Brown implemented a special annual fee I must pay. Funny thing is…the envelope provided to me for the payment check is addressed to the “Dept of Taxes and Fees”, the same address tax pmts are sent to. So it’s in spirit a tax, but the Governor simply labeled it as a fee to get around our law’s requirements for taxes. No advance notice was ever provided to any property owners subject to this fee throughout our state; we simply received the first bill a decade ago and were told to comply.

        If you don’t pay this annual fee, then the Fire Dept may not protect your property/home if a wildfire approaches. This has already actually happened, in which Fire Chiefs have ordered their teams to stand down and watch homes burn because they hadn’t paid the additional fee.

        No Democrat is ever straightforward and honest.

      • “You don’t challenge it in court as a tax.”

        In this case, you should, as there’s clear precedent.

        AKA, ‘Poll Taxes’ used to disincentivize Blacks from voting.

        You use every tool in your toolbag to fight this…

  4. What will SCOTUS do find special taxes on guns and ammo unconstitutional? I suspect that is what will happen, and when it does all that Pittman-Robertson money goes away and so does the hated and unconstitutional $200 NFA tax as well. California leftists will be screaming bloody murder over that.

  5. I’m sick of politicians playing whack a mole with our rights. I live in NY and they plan the same game. It won’t stop until they are held personally financially liable for passing unconstitutional laws.

    • “I’m sick of politicians playing whack a mole with our rights. I live in NY and they plan the same game.”

      Fight back. You, personally.

      Give to local organizations up there funding lawsuits against that crap. Talk a lawyer into filing a lawsuit on his-hers own.

      Whatever it takes…

    • BS. There are many of us that live in states where we do not agree with the state government. There are also many Americans that live in US lands that are not states, just possessions. We live where we live because that is home, our family lives here, we make our living here, or we don’t know another place.
      We are believers in the U.S. Constitution, why should we move?

  6. The money will pay for … a variety of gun violence prevention programs, including those geared toward young people in gangs.

    Why do I have the unshakable sense that wealthy family and friends of California politicians will be creating and managing said “prevention programs” where a HUGE chunk of the funding goes directly to the family and friends under the guise of “management fees”?

    That there, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of graft.

      • In Cook county ILL annoy there’s a $25 slush fu…er gat violence tax on every handgun bought. Been upheld by the corrupt courts(idiots pay it!)I don’t necessarily think this Commiefornia scam will be repealed. Load up out of state or move.Or defy Dimscum© Or fight back🙄

  7. This new tax doubling the in place tax is a 2 for 1.
    The doubling of the tax will discourage POTG from
    making gun/ammo purchases and will result in less
    business for FFLs.
    Of course this doubling has nothing to do with reducing
    crime and is just another step in the direction of
    killing the gun/ammo business while limiting the amount
    of guns/ammo POTG will have over time. This is just
    another part of the long range plan to rid the state of
    FFLs and discourage POTG from making gun/ammo
    purchases. Hence 2 for 1.

  8. Time to deny firearms to all Cali law enforcement especially state government law-enforcement!.. No company should sell to them or enforce warranties..

  9. California is as anti civil rights, as any former Confederate state In the 1950s. And the Libertarians Liberals and the Left like in that way.

    They are comfortable with all the benefits the government brings to them. “Free” condoms, “free” abortions, “free” medical marijuana. “Free” HIV/AIDS STD treatment.

    “Free” injection centers so you can shoot up your favorite drug, under the supervision of a government doctor, so you won’t overdose and die.

    And California has made it legal for you to steal. So you can “pay” for your drug habit.
    California is a dream come true for the g@y, sexual liberated and drug leg@liz@tion crowd.
    I love voting for Governor Newsom

  10. Chris you are exactly right and it is a shame I can’t vote for the ratbastard(as Debbie W would say) and I imagine the Possum agrees too that newscum is a wonderful POS absolutely the best SOB governor.

  11. We should charge $50 in order for you to vote.
    Oh wait you have an issue with a pole tax?
    It is the same thing.

  12. And the feds are pushing a 1000% tax on the same items.

    As noted so often, there is no limit to the number of unconstitutional laws government can pass, each to be challenged one-at-a-time.

    And, with each outrageous law, a victory only means a new law that must be challenged; there is no penalty for government violations of the Constitution.

    • Sam,

      You are, of course, completely correct, sir. CA, NY, NJ, MA (and the beat goes on) have all passed laws DIRECTLY intended to circumvent Bruen (and they know it, and they do it with malice aforethought), because . . . GOA or CRPA, or some other civil rights group will sue, spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions??), and get it overturned.

      The they’ll pass another one, SLIGHTLY tweaked, and it is . . . lather, rinse, repeat.

      That is their entire point – “Sure, SCOTUS is no longer our biotch, but that doesn’t mean YOU get to use it like we have for half a century!!”

      The process IS the punishment. That’s their entire strategy (well, that and trying to pack SCOTUS and the lower courts).

      • “You are, of course, completely correct, sir.”

        I have my moments. Although, the Colonel called them “senior moments”, even in our 30s.

  13. You can argue the Pittman Robertson tax primarily benefits fishermen & hunters because its proceeds are exclusively used for game species habitat conservation. Newsome’s 11% ammo & firearms tax is earmarked for public safety which doesn’t benefit owners of firearms & ammo. Because the tax is on people exercising a constitutional right it is no different than a poll tax.

  14. If you can double it, why not make it 1000%? Follow the comedian who said “forget about guns, let’s make bullets a million dollars.”

    Yes, it’s stupid, but it simple proves the point that if the courts allow the government to specially tax a constitutional right, the right is gone.

    Then when California forces SCOTUS to take another court case, the left will scream about how the court is ‘activist’

  15. Star Tribune v. Commissioner

    If a tax on ink is an unconstitutional impediment to the 1st, a tax on guns and ammo is an unconstitutional impediment to the 2nd.

  16. Why don’t we sign a gang tax bill and let the people responsible for the killing pay for the recovery? Oh, sorry, that makes sense. Government exempt.

  17. TAXING Firearms to pay for School Security seems pefectly logical too me> And history ntells us that waht California does today America does tomorrow. But whatbthe originalComment misses is that bthere is a movement in California to tax any firearms over One Rifle or One Handgun to tax those om n a c sliding scale the MORE firearms owne the MORE you pay for each firearm held Itried the maths involve4d and it would appear, though it’s trifle complex. that for the TENTH firearm held you could end up paying $US10,000 per annum and the tax on ammunition held over a certain amount well be hit even harder.

  18. Why do I get taxed when I make a dollar, then get taxed again if I spend the same dollar- where then the person I spent the dollar with gets taxed on that dollar and in turn gets taxed when they spend that same dollar…. and so on and so forth- until the govt. has raped us of so much more than the freaking dollar was originally worth? These blood sucking scumbags need to be stopped! How much do you all actually need!? When is enough, actually enough!?!?!?!?

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