Increasing taxes and fees on guns creates huge problems

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

They say that nothing is inevitable except death and taxes.

Yet our rights aren’t inevitable, they’re eternal. We have them from the moment of our birth until the former of those two things takes us in its cold embrace.

This is the natural order of things. Just as people have the right to speak freely no matter what their government might say, they also have the right to keep and bear arms.

The problem is that the latter of those inevitable things listed above is being used to try and deny that right.

Liberal state and local lawmakers from New York to California are running out of options to restrict gun rights. They’ve now hatched plans to reduce the number of firearms by taxing them out of existence.

But is it constitutional?

These actions are being taken in response the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision last year in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. It held that the public does not have to exhibit a special “need” to be granted a concealed carry permit.

Just as the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller reaffirmed Americans’ right to “keep” arms in common use, the Bruen decision reaffirmed our right to “bear” arms.

Santa Monica is the latest California city attempting to deny concealed carry permits by making them prohibitively expensive with excessive “administrative” fees.

Last week the city council unanimously approved a $617 fee, plus $150 for a psychological exam, for residents to obtain concealed carry permits.

This stuff is, of course, being treated as necessary steps to keep the wrong sort from getting guns, but there’s a huge issue involved. It’s reserving certain rights as only being for the wealthy.

You’re not setting it up as a second-class right, but are deeming a large portion of the population as second-class citizens.

When you’re requiring fees or taxes in the range of hundreds upon hundreds of dollars just for the “privilege” to buy a gun, you’re basically saying that all those who don’t have that kind of money aren’t worthy of the totality of their constitutionally protected rights.

You’re creating a set of tiers.

We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, not a nation of men. That means that everyone is supposed to be equal before the law. That’s not remotely true. As Orwell said, “Some animals are more equal than others.”

High taxes are, of course, meant to discourage people from buying guns. This comes from a warped belief that lawful gun ownership somehow drives criminal gun possession. They can’t seem to grasp that if there is a demand, criminals will fill that demand.

In other words, the only thing this does is discourage lawful gun ownership from taking place.

Yet I find it amusing that they know taxation discourages people from doing things, like buying guns, yet continue to tax wages, investment income, and pretty much everything else that fuels our economy. Funny, that.

Regardless, this system isn’t constitutional. It can’t be, since it makes it very clear that those who lack funds lack franchise. That’s not how our system is supposed to work.

Instead, this is how you attempt to create a new aristocracy. This is how you create a system where only the elite get to exercise their rights while the peasants must grovel and be thankful for what rights they’re permitted to keep.

Does anything about that sound American to you?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. It’s why these kinds of schemes need to be shut down and shut down hard. Frankly, it starts to make some of the most bizarre proposals look reasonable.