California Lawmaker Wants to Tax Sale of All Handguns, Semiautomatics

A state lawmaker in California last week announced his plan to tax the sale of certain firearms and to use the revenue to fund community violence-prevention programs.

Assemblymember Marc Levine wants to impose an excise tax on the sale of handguns and semiautomatic long guns.  (Photo: Facebook)

Introduced as AB-18, the legislation would impose an “excise tax on the sales of handguns and semiautomatic rifles and would require the revenue collected from that tax to be used to fund grants through the CalVIP [California Violence Intervention and Prevention] program.”

“The goal is fewer gun deaths,” said the bill’s sponsor Assemblymember Marc Levine in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.

“The gun tax will support the kind of interventions that make gun violence less likely in the first place which is exactly what we need to do,” Levine continued.

Levine did not disclose how much of a tax he would want the Legislature to levy. But there’s been speculation that it would be in the $25 range, falling in line with what places like Seattle and Cook County have done in recent years.

To this end, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board came out in favor of the proposal, arguing that gun owners should “shoulder a little more of the cost of gun violence.”

“What we do know is that over the last five years, an average of 503,000 handguns have been sold each year, as have 556,000 long guns, including hunting rifles, shotguns and assault weapons,” wrote the Times Board. “If just handguns had been covered, a $25 tax would have raised $12.6 million per year; if all the guns were covered, that would have raised $26.5 million a year.”

SEE ALSO: Seattle Gun Tax Turning Out to be Another Miserable Gun Control Failure

Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) wondered about the true intent of AB-18.

“What the gun Prohibitionists can’t ban outright they want to tax out of existence,” Gottlieb, the founder of SAF, told GunsAmerica. “What will they tax next? The right of gun owners to vote? It is time to put a stop to this California madness.”

It should be noted that Levine is no stranger to anti-gun measures. He authored the notorious AB 1135 that banned the sale of modern sporting rifles equipped with bullet buttons, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

“Gun violence is the only epidemic with its own lobbyists, which makes passing common sense gun laws an uphill struggle,” said Levine, “but making California a safer place by protecting innocent lives is more than worth the fight.”

If only what Levine said was true.  See, taxing the sale of guns makes it more costly for low-income residents living in high-crime areas to defend themselves.  The result is fewer good guys exercising their 2A rights, fewer good guys taking responsibility for their personal safety.  Maybe that’s part of the reason why Seattle witnessed a spike in gun-related crime after it introduced its “common sense” gun tax.

It goes without saying, but the best way to protect people is to empower people to defend themselves.  One doesn’t need a multi-million dollar government program, funded by money taken from the wallets of law-abiding gun owners, to figure that out.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Tim April 17, 2020, 10:24 pm

    And yet these bozo’s get re=elected over and over again. Go figure?

  • Brian December 14, 2018, 11:55 pm

    These damned politicians can go to HELL! They do not represent me whatsoever! I WILL NOT PAY an UNJUST tax to exercise a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT!!!

    • Mark December 15, 2018, 11:29 am

      I am with you Brian.

  • Dilligaf December 14, 2018, 8:56 pm

    It’s amazing that people still live in calikommiefornia. A state that doesn’t allow law abiding citizens to means to effectively defend themselves. A state that wants ILLEGAL ALIENS to take over and illegally harbor them. A state where the criminals have more rights than anyone else. A state that is truly anti-American

  • Vogel December 14, 2018, 8:28 pm

    I lived in California from the 60’s to 80’s. I saw the Democrats turn a conservative Republican state into a liberal mecca with unlimited immigration of illegal to vote Democrat to get the Welfare and, goodies they were guaranteed by them. The Democrats bought the state with taxpayers money. Now California is lost in space !

  • joel small December 14, 2018, 6:56 pm

    Why not tax car purchases with this special tax instead? they kill a lot more people then guns?.

  • Huck Wratchford December 14, 2018, 5:36 pm

    We don’t live in California an we really don’t care about their laws either ,they act like their the only people in the United States and we’re supposed to jump when they holler

  • Mastercrasher December 14, 2018, 1:44 pm

    When he mentioned Seattle he chose to omit the fact that all of the gun stores moved out of Seattle. There is one left because they sell other sporting goods.

  • Bill December 14, 2018, 12:32 pm

    Isn’t it ironic that the liberals that propose these schemes are the same one that oppose the death penalty, oppose strict mandatory sentencing for violators, are in favor of every liberal, rehabilitating, tax supported, offender re-entry program they can dream up? The dismal failure of these programs has been exhibited ad nauseum. If there was ever an example of a dog chasing it’s tail, these schemes are it. Eliminate the criminal, eliminate the crime. We are the only species that keeps supporting those that should be eliminated, defying mother nature.

    • Rob April 20, 2020, 9:24 am

      Yes it is ironic that they are against everything that can cause harm to another, or for promoting peace but they fight for the laws that promotes the greatest violence against the most innocent and defenseless among us, unborn babies. Don’t understand.

  • Frank Romo December 14, 2018, 11:51 am

    Yeah, what a guy, will the gangbangers be taxed twice as much, because they’re the ones doing all the mayhem and killings. These idiot politicians really know ho to stick it to the law abiding people…

  • R.H Lehmuth December 14, 2018, 10:48 am

    Califreakey used to be a great place to live (1966 when I got out of the USMC until 2009 when we escaped.)

    Califreakey has become a 3rd world COMMUNIST COUNTRY with as corrupt a political system second only to the likes of the old Soviet Union or most of the sub-Saharan Africa. They have companies that have as many $$$ Billions as the State of Calif has in the “hole” and who foots all the bills ??? Definitely, not Siliscum Valley but rather the working families of the State.

    The majority of electorate anymore are illiterate illegals who will vote for anybody that promises “freebies”.

    Plus, do NOT forget “Sanctuary Cities” where illegals run rampant with absolute freedom

    I’m sorry, but having watched the increasing CESSPOOL that the State has become, WE LEFT with no desire what so ever to ever return.

    R H Lehmuth

    St. George, Utah

  • Russ December 14, 2018, 10:37 am

    They have to pay for all the Illegals Pelosi want to bring in.

  • No1hunter December 14, 2018, 9:56 am

    Another tax from the State that spend $3 for every $1 collected!!!

  • Mike360000 December 14, 2018, 9:26 am

    Know that Taxafornia is also trying to introduce a tax to tax text messages. My grandfather was right 60 years ago when he said the government would eventually tax the very air you breath. They already tax the rain.

  • blg December 14, 2018, 9:16 am

    Dr. Motown Have to agree with you.

  • AJ December 14, 2018, 8:00 am

    Um, blatantly saying law-abiding citizens should be responsible for gun related crime should make this null and void. There is no sound logic there. That’s basically saying they are just like the criminals themselves. If that’s the case, then all liberals should have to pay a tax on their protests to shoulder responsibility for antifa violence..

  • Keith Zeiger December 14, 2018, 7:53 am

    “arguing that gun owners should “shoulder a little more of the cost of gun violence.”…….how about the criminals shouldering ALL the cost of violent crimes?

  • Bill Beveridge December 14, 2018, 7:51 am

    I wish California would leave this country, take their sanctuary cities, Congress people, Senators, Governer and voting dead people and illegals with them.

    • FirstStateMark December 14, 2018, 9:49 am

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Martingard December 14, 2018, 2:27 pm

      Bill, I could not agree with you more. We’re stuck here for awhile longer taking care of my 98 yo mother-in-law. Also my wife’s health demands we be close to sea level, so our options aren’t many. We’re looking and we’re having a difficult time waiting. This state’s government truly sucks.

  • joefoam December 14, 2018, 7:48 am

    All you need to do is go to the link imbedded in this article about the abysmal failure of a similar law in Seattle. It didn’t generate the revenue promised and gun violence increased. Are these politicians so concerned with pandering to the public for votes that they will ignore hard facts?

    • Clint W. December 14, 2018, 10:42 am

      Yes, why do they want to confuse the issues with facts and hard data? It is all about the emotion, and the liberal mantra, “If it saves just one life…”(insert their cause de jour here ). The bill should have a rider then, if this tax fails to curb gun violence, then it will be rescinded. But, then again, that is dangerous since the liberal will say they did not have enough money, so raise the tax. There is no hope for or in California.

  • Brandon Blair December 14, 2018, 7:44 am

    Sounds like California has withdrawn from the US as a state. If they want to infringe the God given rights of its citizens ld say they’re citizens should put up a resistance to the elected officials who are infringing their rights and replace them or California should be forced from the Union and not receive any tax payer assistance until they stop harboring illegal immigrants and infringing its citizens UNINFRINGABLE rights!

    • edward martis December 14, 2018, 2:54 pm

      For anyone that would like to see what CA is REALLY like; GOOGLE “Folsom Street Fair” and observe 100,000 naked men; “prancing” around with ‘erections”; trying to “prod” each other in SFO…Also; the home base for the National Man Boy Love Ass’n 530 Jones St. in SFO (highly organized little boy molesters) and my favorite The American Communist Party–6501 Telegraph Av—Oakland; on the Bzerkly city line—–ENJOY !!!! Lastly; “You Tube” =shit hole san francisco=—-Have fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mark E Johnson December 14, 2018, 7:24 am

    This is prelude to war. Remember, our nation was born out of rebellion over taxes and the first battle was fought over gun control. These crazy “lawmakers” must step very carefully or risk a rebellion that will not end well for them.

  • srsquidizen December 14, 2018, 6:59 am

    All such taxes are doomed to failure and are just a punishment of law-abiding gun owners. Theft, fences and black market gun runners (the way criminals get them) are always exempt. Most legally-purchased gun deaths are suicides. But guns, ropes, razor blades, drugs, exhaust pipes, bridges, tall buildings and all the other ways people off themselves were around long before the suicide rate went sky high. That happened with the rise of social media and vulnerable people getting their self-worth (or lack of it) from a little back box filled with millions of haters and trolls. Yep something needs to be done about it, but taxing guns doesn’t work now and won’t ever.

  • Michael Dean Hanson December 14, 2018, 6:58 am

    This will just be another tax that within a year, the politicos will start to use the generated revenue for their pork barrel projects.

  • Jay December 14, 2018, 6:52 am

    Marc Levine I’m calling you out!! Name me One Law, any Law that has ever prevented a crime!!!! I’m waiting!!!!!

  • Jesse Scott December 14, 2018, 6:31 am

    Note how they never later come back with substantive evidence these measures actually did anything to reduce violence.

  • Patriot4 life December 14, 2018, 6:18 am

    DemonCRATIC Party is out to Completely wipe out our Protections of every kind !! .. ” The Tree of Liberty must be Refreshed from Time to Time with the Blood of Patriots and TYRANTS ” … Thomas Jefferson.

    • Jay December 14, 2018, 6:50 am

      Amen, they also want to tax the miles you drive, put extra tax on cell user for every text message and I’m sure they’ll dream up some more in their puny little control freak brains! It’ way over due to go on the offensive instead of being on the defense to all these Anti Americans!

  • William Mckinnis December 14, 2018, 5:54 am

    Godspeed to you and all who support you

  • Craig December 14, 2018, 5:26 am

    Geez, pretty soon CA will be taxing the air you breathe.

  • Daniel Fontanes December 14, 2018, 5:23 am

    Raise the price of all alcohol to pay for drunk drivers and domestic abuse! 25% sober tax

  • DavidW December 14, 2018, 4:57 am

    The assemblyman is deluded. None of their actions have had any impact. It’s just like the war on drugs. We still haven’t won that war (or even come close).

    I would like to know which of his constitutionally protected rights he would like to pay a tax on.

    We don’t pay tax on any of our enumerated rights now, so where does he get off with this illegal move? Shall we next tax the right to free speech, to assemble, of voting, etc.? If the government does this, they can do anything to any right.

    Further, this singles out a segment of the population and denies them a right unless they pay for it. Unequal treatment under the law. CA want to add a tax on cell phones and for each text you send. We already got a tax on fuels and increased vehicle registration fees. All of these deny people access to rights based on income.

  • BUURGA December 14, 2018, 4:22 am

    When California cleans up its act and gets rid of the millions of illegals on its streets, THEN the citizens can be ASKED if they would approve such a tax.

  • Alex Zermeno December 14, 2018, 3:43 am

    Levine, that sounds Islamic. Every Single Time … I’ll bet he lives in a “Diverse” neighborhood with lots of white looking people who claim not to be white.

    • Dr Motown December 14, 2018, 7:29 am

      Nah, he lives in a nice, white, liberal neighborhood with his fellow Jewish Hollywood-industry types who “lecture” us about “violence prevention” through movies filled with violence

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