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A coalition of pro-gun organizations has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California in the County of San Diego challenging the state’s 11% excise tax on firearms, gun parts and ammunition.

California’s Firearms Excise Tax, created by Assembly Bill 28 during the last session, imposes the tax on gun sellers, not gun purchasers. However, as with any other tax scheme, the increase is passed on to the final purchaser.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday and titled Jaymes v. Maduros, was filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), National Rifle Association (NRA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) on behalf of two individual plaintiffs, Danielle Jaymes and Joshua Gerken. Jaymes and Gerken purchased a firearm and ammunition on July 1, 2024, the date the excise tax provision took effect, and the cost of both purchases increased by 11% due to the tax.

Brandon Combs, FPC president, said in a news release announcing the lawsuit that unconstitutionally targets gun owners for political purposes.

“California’s unconstitutional and immoral gun tax is a modern Jim Crow law that targets people and rights hated by tyrants like Gov. Gavin Newsom,” Combs said. “Thankfully, the Constitution forbids California’s political warfare scheme. FPC and our allies are committed to restoring the right to keep and bear arms in California and throughout the United States.”

The suit makes clear that the California tax is a direct violation of plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights and should be struck down.

“Here, California effectively seeks the power to destroy the exercise of a constitutional right by singling it out for special taxation,” the complaint reads. “If this tax is permitted, there is nothing stopping California from imposing a 50% or even 100% tax on a constitutional right it disfavors—whether it be the right to keep and bear arms, the right to free exercise of religion or any other right.”

Citing the 2022 Bruen ruling, the complaint further states: “California’s 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition infringes Plaintiffs’ rights under the Second Amendment because it implicates conduct protected by the Second Amendment’s plain text—acquiring firearms and ammunition—and is not part of this Nation’s history of gun regulation. Defendant will be unable to present widespread, relevantly similar analogues from the Founding era to support the tax.”

Randy Kozuch, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said his organization could not overlook such an overt attack on gun owners and gun purchasers.

“The National Rifle Association has a record of challenging laws that needlessly abridge the rights of law-abiding Americans,” Kozuch said in a news item to members. “California’s firearms excise tax is a blatant and egregious attack on the rights of Californians and a calculated maneuver to dismantle the Second Amendment.”

Plaintiffs in the case are seeking a declaratory judgment stating that the tax is unconstitutional and a preliminary injunction enjoining its enforcement.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, let’s place an 11% tax on speeches, too. And an annual tax on your chosen house of worship that you must pay. And voting…let’s tax each ballot you want to cast. Submit a grievance to Guv?…there’s a tax for that, or should be, yes?

    OT, I see that TTAG today has now implemented a “checking to verify that you’re human” step before entrance to the site is allowed. In almost a decade of regular visits here, this is the first time I’ve seen this. As long as the spammers get blocked, I ‘spose.

  2. More than a decade for me Haz. I miss Farago let alone Zimmerman. I’m not jumping through hoops joining Zim’s group. I do get those “security check’s” on other sites especially auctions.

  3. The tax should be 111%.
    Because keeping the poor from exercising a Constitutional Right is a good thing.
    Hopefully those gunm rights groups loose.
    Freedom and Ju$tice for All.

    • Nice to see the correlation with Jim Crow, you really have to be a gun hating pos to concoct such garbage. And nice to see NRA participation.

  4. Newsome and his freedom hating, tax-and-spend leftist cronies saw this as a dual purpose opportunity. First, to further encumber law-abiding gun owners legal constitutional rights in their campaign to banish guns. Second, as a means of making multi-millions of free money to soften the impact of their outragious spending, which has taken California’s solid financial standing into an unnecessary multi-billion dollar debt.

  5. They should be citing Commissioner.

    If a tax on newspaper ink is unconstitutional, so is one on firearms or ammunition.

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