There’s a big burden to overcome when talking about the Second Amendment and civil rights. Let’s face it, regardless of what the Supreme Court of the United States has said, there are still so many politicians and hacks out there that do indeed treat the Second Amendment like it’s a second class right. Take for consideration the introduction of a bill that’s going to further tax so-called “assault weapons” and ammunition. Having any tax, what-so-ever, on firearms and or ammunition, should be illegal. The taxing of a right? C’mon man.
Washington, D.C.- On June 22, 2022, Reps. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Bill Pascrell, Jr., (D-NJ), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Dwight Evans (D-PA) recognized June as Gun Violence Prevention Month by introducing The Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act – legislation to create guaranteed annual funding for gun violence prevention. The bill would increase the federal excise tax on guns and ammunition by just half a percent and apply the federal excise firearms tax to assault-weapon frames and receivers which currently are not taxed if sold separately. The bill would direct the estimated $20 to $36 million in new revenue to four programs designed to make communities safer: community-based violence prevention grants; gun violence research; hate crimes prevention and enforcement; and forensic examiner training to improve gun crime clearance rates.
This is a prime example of being completely out of touch with reality. Davis, D-Ill., the primary sponsor of H.R.4283, somehow thinks that throwing money at problems will solve them. Aside from the taxing of a right, there are clear hurdles and obstacles to maneuver around, such as policy that actually works.
From the list of where Davis would like to see funds get routed to, the only one that has a half chance of being actually effective would be the “community-based violence prevention grants.” And they’d only be effective if those grants are put into programs that will work. But unfortunately, this might be another one of those areas where pet projects can be funded on Uncle Sam’s dime in order to justify one’s own existence.
The constitutionality of all this, while it should be explored and discussed, clearly does not matter. To people like Davis there are some civil rights that are less than other civil rights. That’s unfortunate coming from the party of equality – or equity by today’s standards.
Davis hits all the talking points in his soundbite:
“The gun violence crisis in America inflicts epidemic harm on individuals, families, and communities, and the federal government must substantially invest in gun violence prevention,” said Rep. Davis. “Not one penny of current federal excise taxes on guns and ammunition goes to gun violence prevention. Further, the federal gun tax has remained the same for over 100 years, and the ammunition tax is the same as it was during World War II. The Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act is an important part of comprehensive gun violence prevention because it creates guaranteed annual funding to stop gun violence via a small increase of 0.5% in existing excise gun and ammunition taxes. This bill also closes a major loophole in tax law that allows many assault-type weapons to evade taxes altogether. This bill is an important step in ensuring federal investment every year to make our communities safer. We must do more to help Chicago and communities across the nation.”
In that last sentence, Davis gets to what he’s really about, Chicago…”and communities across the nation.” But really, Chicago. If Davis, or the wards and so-called leadership in Chicago wanted to clean the city up, they would. Let’s just face it, it’s good business to be in turmoil. As long as congresscritters and politicians like Davis keep throwing money at ineffectual programs, allowing chaos to proliferate, they have job security.
The taxing of a constitutional right will only hinder the law-abiding, like every other progressive policy ever introduced. If there were serious community violence intervention efforts going on that were showing results, we can have a separate conversation about finding the funds, but they shouldn’t be coming from firearm and ammunition sales. If anything, Davis and the rest of the swamp-dwelling Congresscritters should be abolishing taxes on arms.
The only tax I’d personally entertain to keep on arms would be via the Pittman-Robertson Act. I wouldn’t mind seeing a slight increase in that tax to pay for signs being placed at every location that benefited from such funds noting, “This area has been funded in part by the generosity of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.”
The likelihood of a measure like this making it to the shaking hand of “the big guy” is not very high. Regardless, we’ll be watching the progress of this legislation, as well as any other bait and switch measures designed to siphon money from gun owners into the pockets of “look we’re doing something” pet projects.