On Monday a Democratic Connecticut state legislator introduced a bill that would raise the tax on ammunition in the state by 50 percent.
In a video uploaded to Twitter, Rep. Jillian Gilchrest, a freshman legislator from Hartford, said that a companion bill was being introduced in the state Senate by fellow freshman Democrat Will Haskell. (Haskell, at age 22, became Connecticut’s youngest-ever elected legislator last year.)
“Currently, ammunition is taxed at the same rate as other products, but we want to increase it by 50 percent, because we see it as a prevention measure,” Gilchrest says in the video. “For example, if someone were to buy a 50 cartridge box of ammunition, which goes for about $10, it would increase the price to $15.”
I’ve introduced HB 5700, a 50% tax increase on ammunition. It doesn’t apply to military or law enforcement. I’m hearing push back about the need to protect one's home… but how much ammunition does someone really need to do that? #gunsense #enough pic.twitter.com/NZjkWBrpjC— Jillian Gilchrest (@Jilchrest) February 4, 2019
Her logic here is by increasing tax on Ammunition there will be less people shooting guns.
“We see this as a public health measure, similar to what we’ve done in the state of Connecticut with increasing the tax on cigarettes,” Gilchrest said. “When we increase that tax, we’ve seen a reduction in use.”
A large tax like this on ammunition that is designed to curb gun owners’ behavior, would likely run afoul of the Second Amendment, legal experts said.
“Sin taxes are antithetical to American freedoms,” Adam Michel, a policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation wrote. “High taxes on guns aim to restrict a constitutional right. Not only is the government attempting to manipulate your ability to buy otherwise legal goods, they are raising revenue to further expand the already intrusive federal bureaucracy.”
Fox News reports:
The Washington Supreme Court upheld Seattle’s ammunition and gun tax in 2017, that limited tax — amounting to only $25 per firearm and about 4 cents per round of ammunition — the majority held that the tax was acceptable because it primarily sought to raise revenue, rather than discourage gun owners from buying ammunition.
In a statement Tuesday, the NRA condemned Gilchrest’s effort.
“This dreadful legislation punishes law-abiding citizens and makes it harder to learn how to safely use firearms,” the NRA said statement posted to Twitter.
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