The anti-freedom caucus loves to toss around the phrase commonsense as if the more they say it, the more we’ll be conditioned to agree with them. When it comes to commonsense, the most reasonable proposals involve the lifting of restrictions on the law abiding and will more closely align statute with what the Constitution says. On April 1, 2022, a bill was introduced that envelops this idea of commonsense. Representative Ronny Jackson introduced H.R.7366 – To ban the imposition of any State or local liability insurance, tax, or user fee requirement for firearm or ammunition ownership or commerce. The text of the bill is not yet available over at congress.gov, however it was linked in a press release. According to congressional record, it’s been referred to a committee:
H.R. 7366. A bill to ban the imposition of any State or local liability insurance, tax, or user fee requirement for firearm or ammunition ownership or commerce; to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Just reading the title we have an idea of what direction this legislation is leaning. According to the release put out by Jackson’s office, the proposed law will in fact lift restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms.
Today, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) introduced the No User Fees for Gun Owners Act. This legislation would amend Title 18 of the United States Code and the National Firearms Act to ban any state or unit of local government from imposing any insurance requirement or any tax, user fee, or other similar charges as a condition of continued ownership of a firearm, pistol, or revolver.
Jackson told AWR Hawkins of Breitbart: “As an adamant defender of the Second Amendment, I will ALWAYS fight against any attempt to erode our Second Amendment right to bear arms. The law passed in San Jose is just another example of the Far-Left’s gun control agenda that has nothing to do with gun safety and everything to do with control. It’s a slippery slope- if we do not stop the radical Left from enforcing these kinds of policies at a local level, they will soon become implemented at a federal level. This legislation is an important step to ensure this does not happen. It is essential that we fight to maintain our fundamental American freedoms, which includes every American’s right to own a firearm. I urge my colleagues to join in support of the No User Fees for Gun Owners Act. We must ensure these Liberal attacks on gun rights do not become law.”
The release goes on to explain the need of passing such legislation has to do with the unconstitutional provision San Jose California has made in their laws. San Jose recently enacted a law which requires gun owners to pay a vice tax of sorts and is akin to a poll tax.
The draft of the bill text that Jackon’s office included linked to the release can be read HERE in full. From the text:
SEC. 2. BAN ON IMPOSITION OF STATE OR LOCAL LIABILITY INSURANCE, TAX, OR USER FEE REQUIRE3 MENT AS A CONDITION OF FIREARM OR AM4 MUNITION OWNERSHIP OR COMMERCE.
Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—
(1) by inserting ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (b),’’ before ‘‘No’’; and
(2) by adding after and below the end the following:
‘‘(b) NO STATE OR LOCAL INSURANCE, TAX, OR USER FEE REQUIRED AS A CONDITION OF GUN OR AMMUNITION OWNERSHIP OR COMMERCE.—A State, or unit of local government of a State, may not impose any insurance requirement, or any tax, user fee, or other similar charge, as a condition of the manufacture, importation, acquisition, transfer, or continued ownership of a firearm or ammunition, except that a generally applicable sales tax may be assessed against firearms or ammunition in the same proportion to which the tax applies to other goods or services.’’.
SEC. 3. LIMITATION ON CONDITIONS OF GUN OWNERSHIP OR COMMERCE.
Part I of subchapter B of chapter 53 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting after section 5848 the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 5848A. LIMITATION ON CONDITIONS OF GUN OWNERSHIP.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A State, or unit of local government of a State, may not impose any insurance requirement, or any tax, user fee, or other similar charge, as a condition of the manufacture, importation, acquisition, transfer, or continued ownership of a firearm, pistol, or revolver, except that a generally applicable sales tax may be assessed against firearms, pistols, or revolvers in the same proportion to which the tax applies to other goods or services.
‘‘(b) FIREARM, PISTOL, REVOLVER.—The terms ‘firearm’, ‘pistol’, and ‘revolver’ shall have the same meaning as when used in part III of subchapter D of chapter 15 32.’’.
Reading between the lines, this bill should it become law could do a lot more than outlaw taxes on firearm ownership. Essentially it’d nullify any fees associated with permits required to purchase or own firearms. That’s how I read “user fee”.
It’s great to see legislation like this get introduced. Not that we can think the “big guy” will have an earwig say “scribble your mark on that Joe” in the unlikely event it made it to the desk of the oval office. Regardless, it’s a good thing to have measures introduced that will remove infringements on the Second Amendment. The more times a bill is introduced, the more of a chance it has of being taken seriously. How many times were measures like the 1968 Gun Control Act reintroduced? A few. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled on this one for sure. It would not hurt to let your legislators know you want them to support this bill’s passage.