Courtesy clyde.house.gov public media

“I’m very passionate about the Second Amendment, not just defending it, but restoring it because we’ve lost a lot of ground.”

Amen to that. Representative Andrew Clyde (GA-09, Republican) provided that quote to Fox News, along with a bunch of other gems on the same day that he introduced his “Ensuring SAFE-T Act,” which would force the .gov to allow a firearm transfer if a NICS background check fails to produce a response within three calendar days rather than three state government business days.

Usually that isn’t such a big difference — sure, weekends and holidays don’t count as state business days — but in the time of COVID some states went weeks and even months without an official business day. The possibility for further, future abuse of this NICS denial loophole exists, of course, in the event of other natural disasters like hurricanes and whatnot. Rep. Clyde’s bill is simple and very limited in scope and reach, but it’s a nice step in the right direction that’s innocuous enough that it just might pass.

Clyde’s other ideas are bolder:

“I really think the Brady background check system is looking at it backwards. We need to be looking at it from the point of the Second Amendment is an inalienable right. […] The onus needs to be on the government to prove that you don’t have that right anymore, not on you to prove that you do have it.”

This is why he wants to eliminate the Brady background check system. And he ain’t wrong.

He’s also dead-on correct about taxes on firearms and ammunition:

“If you can tax a constitutional right, then it is truly not a constitutional right.”

Imagine a federal and/or state tax on voting, for instance. Obvious violation, right? No poll taxes, etc. Well, Clyde feels it’s the same for guns and ammo and, I gotta say, once again he ain’t wrong.

The .gov taxes handguns 10% and rifles and ammunition 11%. Yes, every gun and loaded round of ammo you’ve purchased has had this tax built in. Some of my customers at Black Collar Arms have done the math and asked why an assembled pistol or rifle costs more than the sum of its parts. Well, there are a few things that go into it but the largest one by far is that 10% or 11% Federal Excise Tax that’s built into the total.

To be clear, Clyde explicitly states that any taxes whether federal or state, to include sales tax and the NFA taxes, are unconstitutional when applied to firearms and ammunition. I’ve looked into this and crunched the numbers and, yes, I’m quite confident that the math checks out here.

Rep. Clyde plans to introduce bills to effect these changes should Republicans take the House majority in 2022. Don’t forget to vote.

I’d highly recommend reading the entire interview with Representative Andrew Clyde on Fox News HERE.

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. As an external observer from Europe, I wish all the best to Rep. Clyde’s proposal, even if, alas, it won’t change the common idea here that defending yourself is an usurpation of the monarch’s absolute power (even if you are in a Republic here, the State still basically owns you), it will make easier here to ask for some minimal citizens’ rights.

    Having said that, I am inclined to think that the principle of no taxation for exercising a constitutional right, while a good one, may lead to some extension that, in the end may be problematic. E.g. if I were to say that I will not pay taxes on my web connection because I need it to exercise my first amendment, or that I won’t pay taxes on fuel and other car related expenses if I am going to the church (another constitutionally protected activity…), that would sound a tad curious, or not?

    Again, I am a foreigner just trying to make sense of what’s happening on both sides of the Pond, thus bear with me.

    • Well Andrew…Taxes are neither here nor there when Center X is Gun Control. Now you should know that Gun Control in any shape or form is rooted in racism and genocide therefore Gun Control ia racist and nazi based agenda.

      So on the behalf of protecting and defending The Constitution Of The United States and on the behalf of the millions throughout history who have been subjected to Gun Control and left defenseless…Taxes are neither here nor there.

      • Rep. Clyde is talking. and talk is cheap.

        From statues to comic books everything related to racism is being removed from public view…
        And what political party is behind all of this symbolism bone throwing? Why it is the democRat Party. The very political party that owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, lynching, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities.
        So why wait until November Rep. Clyde? Shouldn’t you be on the floor of Congress today calling the democRat Party out for its despicable racist history and holding the democRat Party liable for Monetary Reparations?

        Enough of this symbolism bone throwing done to whitewash democRat Party race based atrocities. Enough of this waiting on Christmas. How about holding the democRat Party accountable for its racist history and holding the democRat Party accountable for Gun Control which is as racist as the N-word and much more racist than any damned concrete statue. Frankly Rep. Clyde…A Black American belonging to the democRat Party makes as much sense as a Jew belonging to the nazi party.

        What you propose Rep. Clyde is nothing new. What I just told you is long overdue.

    • “. . . usurpation of the monarch’s absolute power . . . ”
      We Americans will forgive you, Andrew, because you are not an American. And so, you are not steeped in the governmental philosophy engraved in our hearts by our Declaration of Independence:

      “. . . That to secure these rights [endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable . . . ], Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

      In these words WE have usurped the absolute power FROM the monarch. WE have TURNED this principle UPON ITS HEAD! It remains a constant struggle to maintain these rights. And, as Chairman Mao taught us: “Political power emanates from the barrel of a gun.” If we are all armed then, by definition, we are all equally empowered of our political rights. (Why did you suppose we DIS-armed our slaves? Can you work this out?) If ENOUGH OF US are armed, then we have ENOUGH power to overcome the usurpations of our “monarch”. This is “realpolitik” or “politics by other means”.

      We have criminals among us; as do those of you who live in other countries. Because WE have guns, we have found them useful for defending ourselves from them. This doesn’t occur to YOU because YOU have few guns and you are forbidden by your sovereign from “usurpation of the monarch’s absolute power”. The difference stems from the philosophical fork we took in 1776. That choice, to take the road less traveled by, is now irreversible in the American mind.

      (Because America is such a large and so self-sufficient a country compared to nearly all others, we are capable of indulging any viewpoint we care to adopt with complete indifference to the opinions of others. One hundred million gun owners are a formidable force whether they be a majority or even a minority. One hundred million tea drinkers would have meant little to Chairman Mao; little more to Charles I. But, things do not necessarily work out the way an absolute monarch plans when his subjects are armed.

      “. . . the principle of no taxation for exercising a constitutional right”. This is sticky. There are two countervailing principles. One is that governments have the power to tax to raise revenues. The other is that taxation is always, to a greater or lesser extent, an abridgment on some right. Another principle of which you are unfamiliar, is that our “rights” are innumerable; the powers of government are merely enumerated in our constitutions. Thus, in principle, we have to right to do nearly anything we please; whereas, the government has the power to tax nearly everything which pleases us.

      As an example, it pleases many of us to smoke tobacco (to say nothing of marijuana) which was an indisputable right in 18th Century America (no matter the objections of wives). Yet, at the same time, we do not dispute the power of our Federal, state or municipal governments to tax tobacco; notwithstanding it is our RIGHT! to suicide by inhaling smoke.

      If there is a principle which MIGHT (though not necessarily does) resolve this conflict, it is this. The power to tax is for the purpose of raising necessary revenues. A tax which is irrational -because it is at a rate beyond the crest of the Laffer Curve – is constitutionally suspect. What is the revenue-producing purpose of a prohibitive tax where a quantity of zero multiplied by a high rate produces zero revenues?

      The 10/11% tax on firearms and ammunition probably is little threat to the Laffer Curve. However, the $200 tax on silencers probably IS a threat to the Laffer Curve; and, on that account, IS constitutionally SUSPECT. And, of course, there isn’t a shred of an objective argument to support (what was intended to be a virtual) prohibition of silencers. I imagine you are a Brit, or European, and can readily agree with this proposition.

      It just now occurs to me that – in 1934 – the $200 tax on machineguns was expected to be prohibitive; and, it WAS virtually so for decades. But, eventually, the erosion of inflation and the cost of producing machineguns plummeted to the point where this tax might be marginally revenue-producing. What is fascinating, from this line of reasoning, is that the Hughes Amendment to the NFA`34 forbids the Treasurer of the US from accepting this tax for new registrations of machineguns. It is THIS particular provision – the prohibition on collecting the tax – which violates the revenue-generating purpose of the tax! At the time of the adoption of the NFA`34 it was clear to both Congress and the Executive that an outright prohibition on machineguns, silencers and short-barreled rifles and shotguns would constitute an “infringement” on the right-to-arms. What was intended to be a prohibitive tax became NON-prohibitive; whereupon, the tax was (through slight of hand) made prohibitive with respect to NEW manufacture and thereupon, possession.

      (You might wonder why our Supreme Court hasn’t taken-up the question of taxation of firearms, so far. The fact is that our SCOTUS is reticent to take cases which might uphold the right to arms. It retracted it’s last grant of an appeal. The previous appeal it summarily disposed of by telling the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to take their opinion and stick it where the sun don’t shine. However, that case merely confirms that the 2A is not just for muskets anymore. It tells us nothing that we didn’t already know. I suspect that SCOTUS would agree – in principle – that a tax that violates the Laffer Curve is unConstitutional; but, at the same time, would not take a case to make that principle a real impediment to the power of taxation of any legislature.)

      May the chains of slavery to your absolute monarchs rest lightly upon your wrists and ankles. We will carry on, for better or for worse, as we did in 1776.

      • Thank you for your excellent analysis.
        Here our national hero, Garibaldi, said: “La forca è la forza dell’oppressore. La carabina quella degli uomini liberi..” (The gallows is the force of the oppressor, the rifle the force of the free men), but we found it easier to forget about it, unfortunately.

      • You can extend that further to the prohibition on intoxicating liquors. It was well understood that the federal government had no authority to prohibit the manufacture, sale, ownership, or use of ANYTHING, and thus required amendment to the constitution. Keep in mind, this wasn’t for an enumerated civil right. It was for alcohol. The mental gymnastics required to justify any ban or regulation of civil rights–without a constitutional amendment–is absolutely baffling. Any gun control, any product ban, and the “war on drugs” are all null and void, according to the document that dictates the authority of government.

  2. There should never have been taxes imposed on the sale of firearms and ammunition not just because it’s a right but also because it’s a governmental function. We the people are considered the composition of the Militia of the several states and Congress has a constitutional mandate to “organize, ARMING the Militia while reserving to the states appointment of officers and training the Militia based on the discipline prescribed by Congress for purposes enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 Clause 15 which is to 1. Extute the laws of he Union. 2 Suppress insurrection and repel invasions. The Militia is a governmental function and therefore cannot be taxed

  3. The orginal purpose of taxing guns and ammo goes back 130 years. The money was used to promote winldlife conservation. I’m not a hunter. So if every wild animal is killed off, will anybody miss them???
    What purpose do they serve?
    There have already been many animal and bird species that have ben hunted to extinction. So what will replace the taxes that fund conservation??? Does conservation need to be funded???

    I know there are many farmers who would love it, if every deer was killed off. That eat’s their crops. Or animals that spoil the crop in storage. Personally I don’t mind paying the tax. The problem is the Left runs so much of the Deep State. And they screw everything up.

    • Chris T is correct about the purpose of these taxes, and Jeremy didn’t mention it. The law was written at the request, and with the approval of, the hunting community at the time. The proceeds are used to purchase and maintain properties and programs that promote wildlife conservation and hunting. Think of public hunting areas, state developed shooting ranges, restoration of wild turkeys and elk, etc.

      We can certainly debate the program, but be fair in your portrayal of what it is.

    • I think it makes sense to do some saber rattling – threatening to withdraw support for the tax for conservation purposes – to awaken the environmental lobby to our contribution.

      We COULD do this by pressuring Congress to ear-mark funds for public ranges. Here’s the argument. Consumers of guns and ammo are by far now composed of people who are primarily interested in self-defense and target sports. NOT HUNTING. Therefore, it’s high-time that we redirect much of the funding to public ranges and away from conservation; that’s where the taxpayers would want the money to go to.

      It’s all very well to support conservation. Self-defenders and target sports(wo)men are just as interested in conservation as Sierra Club members. Nevertheless, to the extent that this tax is to be construed as a “user fee”, then the users need to get actual use out of their fees. That ought to come through government support of public ranges.

      Hunters, by and large, have ready access to suitable shooting ranges which are economical for them. Urban self-defenders and target shooters can only access expensive private ranges. It is these “users” who need public support for community shooting ranges.

      • I stand firmly behind taxing firearms and ammunition for conservation…

        conservation of the Second Amendment.

        Let’s absolutely redirect all gun and ammo taxes into conserving our constitutional right- it’s more endangered than the wildlife is.

        That would seem reasonable, no?

      • It would be great to hear the Libertarian argument on how wildlife managment should be done. In their view. Across state lines? How will it be paid for?
        Is extinction an option?

        • Extinction is always one of the several options. It is the Final Solution. This topic was very well developed by RJ Rummel in his opus Death by Government.

          Pitmann-Robertson was (so I understand) a plan to federalize the funding of mostly state directed conservation programs. It was to include support for public ranges. The program has been handsomely funded by taxes on guns and ammo. Tragically, I think, the states have mostly starved the public ranges for a reasonable share of their allocation.

          Those of us who pay the taxes have a seat at the table to re-apportion the earmarks for where the spending should be directed. I argue for doing some saber-rattling to gain the attention of the conservation advocates. Thereupon, I suggest we seek to compromise on taxation and spending programs.

        • “It would be great to hear the Libertarian argument on how wildlife managment should be done.”

          Officially:

          2.2 Environment

          Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.

          Here’s a few more:

          We oppose government-mandated conservation. Conservation should be the choice of the owners of private property.

          We support the right of private citizens and organizations to rightfully acquire natural resources for the purpose of conservation. However, the desire to conserve natural resources is not a valid excuse for the violation of individual rights, and we therefore oppose such violations.

          That laws providing for governmental protection of endangered species be repealed, allowing private wildlife groups and private conservancy funds to assume responsibility for such efforts.

          From my perspective:

          I don’t agree with government dictating what/where needs protecting, and then forcefully taking our money and spending it as they see fit.

          Individual private citizens should be free to decide for themselves whether they wish to spend their own money on wildlife conservation (if any).
          It’s up to you.

          Simple. Basic. Freedom.

          Extinction existed long before humans, and will continue long after we are no longer extant.

      • Pennsylvania could start by removing the ridiculous restrictions at State Fame Lands ranges. No more than 3 rounds in a gun, no rapid fire, etc. They also need to install more pistol lanes, and eliminate the requirement for to purchase a range permit if you don’t have a hunting license. Then they could start reopening closed SGL ranges and then open new ones nearer population centers.

  4. Minneapolis Star Tribune Co. v. Commissioner
    SCOTUS ruled that a targeted tax on physical goods tied to the exercise of a constitutionally protected right (in this case newspaper ink) was unconstitutional.

    So a tax on Arms and Ammunition is clearly unconstitutional. Property taxes targeting rifle/pistol ranges would also be unconstitutional, though generic ones that affect all businesses equally would presumably pass muster.

    • Yes, this is a case that is very important to us. Nevertheless, SCOTUS is going to be loath to do ANYTHING to advance this proposition against government (federal, state and municipal) interest in the unfettered power-to-tax.

      All it takes for “good” government officials to suppress “sin” through taxation
      . . . is for the Supreme Court to do nothing.

      And so, there was no push-back when Bloomberg imposed prohibitive taxes on cigarettes as NYC’s mayor. To no one’s surprise, top-quality cigarettes were sold free of tax on Indian reservations, butt-legged to the city, and sold as “loosies” on the street at a discount to full-tax legitimately-priced products. NYC’s “Finest” then collared Eric Garner, who died trying (futilely) to escape.

      What appears to be a tragic consequence of institutional racism, might better be characterized as resistance to taxation without the consent the “governed”; i.e., the minority of smokers subject to the tax. Who “pays”; sometimes with their lives? Those at the bottom rungs of the social ladder who suffer most from the burden of such taxation and are tempted to violate the law to subvert it.

      Now suppose that the Star Tribune persisted in publishing what Minnesota deemed “hate speech”. And, suppose TODAY that the legislature sought to tax printer’s ink and newsprint paper. Would SCOTUS stand-up for the principle of freedom-of-the-press? Or, would its path of least resistance be to let the case languish at the Circuit Court level with a politically-correct ruling inconsistent with the precedent?

      Makes me think that we ought to advocate for a “Laffer Curve principle” Constitutional amendment to restrain the tendency of governments to impose punitive taxes on whatever a majority decides is a “sin” (alcohol, tobacco, firearms, hate speech, etc.) If the tax, or any of it’s provisions (e.g., Hughes Amendment) has a manifest tendency to inhibit commerce rather than raise revenue, then it is UN-Constitutional. Such amendment would not completely solve the problem. It would, however, constrain the worst abuses such as Bloomberg’s NYC cigarette tax, the NFA`34 tax on silencers, the Hughes Amendment, and proposed taxes on firearms and ammo.

  5. do women ever get taxed
    or have to get a background check
    or in any way lose their ability
    to exercise their 14th amendment right
    of course not
    it would be “ludicrous”
    and “patriarchal”
    and “oppressive”

  6. Offer a background check system that makes the gov prove you cant have a gun and claim its a better more efficient system than the Brady one. Give it a good name as well.

    If anti-gunners fight it, claim that they do not care about public safety or 2A rights. Turnabout is fair play in this manner

  7. Actually the taxes on gunm sales and ammunition is good.(not that its right) Tobacco, booze, both killers but it’s the taxes made selling it that keeps those available.

  8. This is political show theater. I live in Oakland, CA. Honestly- I’m ok with a background check to prevent felons (blacks) from getting guns.

    What we really need to do is repeal the lifetime ban on misdemeanor domestic violence. Too many men get their gun right taken away for things like yelling or slapping. Every time I bring this up, people get upset and love to white knight for women.

    Russia repealed their domestic violence laws to great success. These laws destroy families. It’s time we do the same. Public perception about domestic violence changed after OJ Simpson. Maybe Nicole Brown shouldn’t have married a black guy?

  9. “I’m ok with a background check to prevent felons (blacks) from getting guns.”

    “Too many men get their gun right taken away for things like yelling or slapping.”

    “These laws destroy families. . . .
    Public perception about domestic violence changed after OJ Simpson.
    Maybe Nicole Brown shouldn’t have married a black guy?”

    Statements such as the foregoing are COUNTER-productive. So, I wonder if the posters making them are TROLLS on the payroll of the gun-grabbers. You know who you are; so, you will carry on trolling.

    I direct my response to PotG of good-will who earnestly strive to preserve and protect the right to arms. Background checks at point-of-sale do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of Prohibited-Persons. It doesn’t matter the buyer’s race, color, creed, religion or sex. Point-of-sale is meaningless as a gun-control.

    Background checks serve – IMPORTANTLY – to enforce Felon-in-Possession. If the FBI’s databases didn’t exist the cops would have no way to know whether to charge Felon-in-Possession when they come upon a carrier under suspicious circumstances. Nor would they know to say “you are free to go” when they have detained a law-abiding citizen with a Peacemaker. Why promote NICS for the WRONG reason when there is a perfectly sound reason to support the FBI’s databases?

    The Domestic Violence issue is complex and serious for every stakeholder. It deserves our respectful attention, not simply from the single Lautenberg Amendment perspective. There are circumstances when it’s constructive to inter-sectionalize independent issues; others when it’s better to compartmentalize them. Which is applicable here?

    Are we better off seeing what Justice Barrett might be able to do to advance the cause of life-time gun bans with non-violent felons? Or, should we begin by offending the sensibilities of women, children (who will soon become adult voters) and men of good will? We need the support of every one of these to protect the right of self-defense. Do they outnumber male gun users WRONGLY convicted of Domestic Violence misdemeanors? Can we do the math? Can we even count noses?

    Many of us – male and female – are entitled to question our choices in mates from time-to-time. It’s a purely personal decision. We have long since abandoned our ancestors’ preoccupation over miscegenation. If we invite public inquiry into one such arena of personal choice we open the floodgates to debate over every other matter of personal preference. Do you really want your neighbors criticizing you for carrying a .380 instead of a real firearm that begins with .4?

    Trolls will keep on trolling. It’s up to the moderators of TTAG to decide on the disposition of their posts.

    Readers should be cognizant of the trolls’ posts. Feed the troll? Or, STARVE him of attention?

    To all PotG of good will, with whom one or another of such sentiments might resonate to some small degree; Do you want to be productive? Or COUNTER-productive in your own posts?

      • Thank you for your reply. I didn’t know the term “concern trolling” existed, so I looked it up.

        A concern troll is someone who disingenuously visits sites of an opposing ideology to disrupt conversation by offering unwanted advice on how to solve problems which do not really exist. Topics of “concern” usually involve tactical use of rhetoric, site rules, or with more philosophical consistency. The concern troll’s posts are almost exclusively intended to derail the normal functions of their targeted website.

        If you read my other posts on TTAG I think you will satisfy yourself that my intent is not to derail the normal functions of this website.

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