Anti-gun Democrats on Capitol Hill are once again trying to make the price of modern sporting rifles and “large capacity” magazines so costly that the average American hit hard by Bidenomics will find it difficult if not impossible to come up with the cash needed to purchase the most commonly-sold rifles and ammunition magazines in the country.
Last Friday two dozen House Democrats reintroduced a measure that would jack up excise taxes on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines by 1000%, though the details are still undefined at the moment.
The text of Beyer’s new bill was not out as of the weekend, and it was unclear if any changes were made from his 2022 version. His bill from last year imposed the tax on any magazine or related device that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The same 1,000% tax would be imposed on any “semiautomatic assault weapon,” which last year’s bill defined as a semiautomatic rifle or pistol with a fixed magazine of 10 rounds or more or that have other various features.
Under that rule, a weapon that normally costs $2,000 would force customers to pay more than $20,000, a change Beyer argued last year could help “curb the epidemic of gun violence.”
“Congress must take action to stem the flood of weapons of war into American communities, which have taken a terrible toll in Uvalde, Buffalo, Tulsa and too many other places,” Beyer said then. “Again and again assault weapons designed for use on the battlefield have been used in mass shootings at schools, grocery stores, hospitals, churches, synagogues, malls, theaters, bars and so on.”
Raising the cost of legally purchasing a firearm won’t stop “gun violence’, but it would absolutely cripple the right to keep and bear arms, especially for the 99% of us who don’t have an extra ten thousand dollars or so sitting in our bank accounts. And that’s the real goal here; making legal gun purchases so cost-prohibitive that it amounts to a de facto ban on their sale and purchase. Maybe Beyer is dumb enough to believe that there’d be some trickle-down effect on violent criminals, but in reality, it would lead to more thefts, more black market sales, and yes, probably more home-built firearms as well.
I’m not terribly concerned about Beyer’s bill getting out of the House this year, but every Second Amendment advocate across the country should be paying attention now because Democrats are telegraphing exactly what they plan on doing if they’re able to wrest control of the House away from Republicans next November. In fact, if Democrats manage to gain control of both chambers of Congress and keep the White House in their grasp, Beyers’ bill will be downright moderate compared to what’s coming down the pike. A growing number of gun control groups have been calling on Democrats to pack the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices who will overturn the Heller, McDonald, and Bruen decisions and declare the Second Amendment does not protect the individual right to keep and bear arms, and if that happens congresscritters like Beyer won’t be satisfied with making modern sporting rifles cost-prohibitive. Instead, they’ll ban them outright, and a prohibition on all semi-automatic firearms would be on the table as well.
Beyer’s bill may mostly be political posturing, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to ignore the warning. This should be a wake-up call for those gun owners who blithely assume that their rights are secure, when the truth is we’re just one election away from seeing the most basic aspects of our most fundamental civil liberty turned into a federal crime.