A leader of Illinois’ chief advocacy organization working to restore gun rights to Illinois gun owners denounced Oct. 31 plan by the Cook County Board of Commissioners to tax gun sales and use the proceeds to fund gun control lobbyists.
“The problem with the Cook County Board is that its members are convinced that the public is as gullible as they are,” said Richard A. Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
Pearson said Toni R. Preckwinkle, the board president for the county that includes Chicago, its suburbs and some unincorporated communities, is wrong to propose a $25 transfer tax on gun sales whose revenue would then be earmarked for the coffers of the groups dedicated to abolishing gun rights.
Preckwinkle failed in her attempt to have the proceeds of the transfer tax earmarked for the healthcare expenses of Cook County gangbangers. Her plan to tax ammunition also failed.
Pearson said under the new, “compromise” plan, the ammunition tax would be eliminated with the $25 “transfer” fee on firearm sales still in play and targeted to support the salaries and program costs of local gun control organizations.
Businesses in the county will suffer because gun owners are going to avoid the tax, he said.
“Preckwinkle wants to hand these same groups another two million tax dollars per year so they can hold bake sales, sponsor poetry contests, and litter our streets with empty shoes,” he said.
“While we’re on the topic of taxes, let’s talk about the impact of the ‘transfer’ fee on sales tax revenues,” said Pearson. “As a matter of principle, gun owners are not going to pay the $25 transfer fee – they’ll just buy guns in the collar counties.”
The county will also lose revenue, too, he said.
The average sales tax due on a firearm purchase in Cook County is probably around $80, he said.
For the sake of punishing gun owners, the Cook County Board will forego at least $105 in real and anticipated tax receipts per firearm not purchased in Cook County due to public opposition to the transfer fee. Only in the chambers of the Cook County Board could such a proposal make sense.”
“Again, the fact of the matter is that demand for firearms remains strong and will not be diminished by the proposed $25 transfer fee,” said the executive director of ISRA, which was founded more than 100 years ago.
“Gun buyers will just take delivery of their merchandise at locations outside Cook County. Certainly, the transfer fee will cause an inconvenience to gun buyers, jobs will be lost, and sales tax receipts will suffer,” he said.
“But, in the end, the public will continue to exercise its constitutional right to lawfully purchase the firearms of their choice – just not in Cook County,” he said.
“I’ve seen a lot of harebrained gun control schemes over the years, but this one takes the cake. Does Board President Preckwinkle really expect the state’s gun owners to pay a tax to fund organizations whose primary mission is to take their guns away?” he asked.
“Even the non-gun owning taxpayer should be outraged at Preckwinkle’s latest boondoggle,” said Pearson, who is a marksmanship coach, as well as an insurance broker.
“Over the years, local gun control organizations have flitted away tens of millions of foundation dollars in the name of violence prevention while, at the same time, Cook County’s rate of violent crime has hit the stratosphere,” he said.
Watch this short video about the history of the Illinois State Rifle Association: