Taxes could become the new frontier for those opposed to firearms. In this story, we hear about how rich Californian politicians want a new tax on shooters.

Taxing shooters 

CALIFORNIA looks set to tax shooters “to pay for gun violence prevention” programs, in a new attack on shooters that we haven’t seen in Australia – yet.

Adam Beam from AAP has published a story which notes that the federal government already taxes the sales of guns and ammunition to pay for wildlife conservation and hunter safety programs.

He suggests the proposed tax in California would seem to match that for ‘school safety programs’. 

It’s a bit rich …

California would be the first US state to go down this particular path.

Pennsylvania collects a $3 surcharge on gun sales and uses the money to pay for background checks.

Fees in California total more than $37 on gun sales, with most of that money covering the cost of background checks.

The California bill, which expands the tax base to the ‘safety programs’, was authored by Assembly member Jesse Gabriel (right), a Democrat from the ritzy Encino area, home of the ‘rich and famous’. 

Some names we’ve seen of those who live there include Lisa Kudrow, Selena Gomez, Megan Fox, George Clooney and Janet Jackson. 

That might help explain why Gabriel has raised over $4m USD to support his election.

The bill has cleared the Californian Senate and passed the state Assembly.

Assembly members must vote on it one more time before sending it to Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Politics gets grubby.  Very grubby.

However, like we’ve seen in Australia, NZ, Canada and the UK, Californian left-wing politicians who line up on emotion are unrepentant.

“Don’t let politics stand in the way of saving the lives of our children and providing mental health care in our school districts,” Democratic state Senator Anthony Portantino said.

“Fear should not be on the brow of a parent when they send their kids to school.”

Governor needs to sign off on the law

However it is unclear if Californian Governor Newsom will sign it into law.

Newsom has previously opposed high-profile tax increase proposals in recent years but he has also been on a crusade to improve gun safety.

Last year, he signed a law that lets private citizens enforce the state’s ban on “assault” firearms by filing civil lawsuits against anyone who distributes the firearms or parts, guns without serial numbers, or .50-caliber rifles. 

For that reason, it would seem likely he would sign the tax into law.

Shooting groups push back

Local gun groups have spoken up about it. Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association has described the proposal as “poll tax”.

“It’s a tax on exercising a constitutional right. We’re going to have to file a lawsuit to challenge it.”

Where the money would go

The tax would take effect on July 1 and would generate about $159 million in revenue annually, according to an estimate from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Some of this would go to the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program which targets young people in gangs and tattoo removal.

$50 million would go to the State Department of Education to provide physical security improvements at public schools and behavioural health services for students, teachers and other school employees.

Little wonder then that one of Mr Gabriel’s top donors is the California Teachers Association.

Let’s hope this gets defeated

There’s no doubt the ‘tax’ is a punitive measure against shooters in a politicised form of class warfare.

 California has previously brought in restrictions not seen in other US states, such as bans on sending ammunition by mail.

Good luck to the California Rifle and Pistol Association – we hope you win. 

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