Thursday morning I had the chance to sit down with Georgia congressman Andrew Clyde to talk about his new RETURN (Repealing Excise Tax on Unalienable Rights Now) our Constitutional Rights Act, which would remove ALL federal taxes on firearms and ammunition, including the $200 tax stamp for NFA items. As it turns out, however, about ten seconds before Clyde and I started our conversation, the Supreme Court released its decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which suddenly became THE big story of the day.
So, on a special Friday edition of Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co you can hear from Rep. Clyde himself about why this bill is necessary, as well as checking out his reaction to the news that New York’s “may issue” laws were struck down.
As for the RETURN our Constitutional Rights Act, Clyde says his motivation is simple; we shouldn’t be taxed for exercising a constitutional right.
“In case my Democrat colleagues forgot, the Bill of Rights enumerates rights to which the government cannot infringe. Unquestionably, infringement exists when the government taxes those rights to limit the people’s ability to exercise them,” said Clyde. “As assaults against Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms continue to emerge, so do treacherous threats that seek to weaponize taxation in order to price this constitutional right out of the reach of average Americans. I firmly believe that no American should be taxed on their enumerated rights, which is why I intend to stop the Left’s tyranny in its tracks by eliminating the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.”
Currently, all firearms and ammunition (as well as bows and arrows) are hit with an 11% excise tax as part of the Pittman-Robertson Act, with the funds generated from those taxes going towards things like wildlife restoration, hunter safety courses, and other programs that are worthwhile. Clyde’s bill wouldn’t cause that funding to disappear; instead, money would be redirected to those programs from “unallocated lease revenue generated by onshore and offshore energy development on federal lands, which currently flows into the general fund”, according to the congressman.
While Clyde says he’s long been opposed to these kinds of excise taxes, the recent move by northern Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer to try to tax AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles at a rate of 1000% (not a typo, by the way) gave him even more motivation to introduce the RETURN our Constitutional Rights Act.
The sole purpose of this dictatorial proposal is to weaponize taxation in order to price the Second Amendment out of the reach of average Americans — leaving citizens vulnerable and unable to exercise their inalienable right to keep and bear arms. Our Founding Fathers would roll in their graves at this outrageously unconstitutional proposition. In fact, the Founders deliberately enumerated the Second Amendment to ensure the American people can freely practice their God-given right to protect themselves and their liberties against a tyrannical government.
By design, the Second Amendment defends Americans from an overbearing government. Yet by disdain, the Second Amendment is under assault by the very government that is responsible for securing these rights.
This is a threat I’ve feared for quite some time, which is why I have actively been working on legislation to stop this tyranny in its tracks.
Clyde’s legislation was introduced with 53 other Republican co-sponsors, and while that won’t be enough for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to give it a fair hearing in committee, it could gain a lot of traction in the next session of Congress if, as expected, Republicans regain the House majority. In the meantime, it’s an excellent counter to Rep. Beyer’s flagrantly unconstitutional proposal, and I applaud Rep. Clyde for his effort and hope to have him back on the show in the very near future to continue our conversation on a day when we don’t have quite as much breaking Second Amendment news.