Connecticut Gun Owners Protest Proposed Ammo Tax

Connecticut Gun Owners came out recently to protest a new bill that would tax ammunition at 35 percent.

Known as H.B. 5040, An Act Establishing an Excise Tax on Ammunition, the legislation hopes to raise $7 million to fund “gun violence prevention efforts” across the state. 

It was during a Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee hearing last Thursday that pro-2A citizens showed up to testify against the bill.  

“We’re your neighbors, your co-workers and your friends,” said gun owner Jim Storms of Southington, according to the CT Mirror. “We didn’t create the problem of gun violence, and it’s relatively rare that any of us contribute to it. Now you want to place most of the burden on us to finance what amounts to a scavenger hunt for solutions.”

While introducing the bill in February, State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford) cited figures indicating that gun-related violence costs the state $1.2 billion per year — a number Storms wasn’t buying. 

“I’d like to see it broken down into line items because I’m skeptical,” he said.

Likewise, New Milford resident Mark Conrad urged the committee to scrap the bill.  

“The most important reason for this committee to deny this tax is that our right to keep and bear arms includes ammunition,” said explained Conrad. “It is an integral and essential part of any firearm.”

Others chimed in with numerous reasons to oppose the ammo tax:

  • Hurts hunters and low-income residents
  • Increases costs of gun-safety training 
  • Harms small businesses, local gun shops, and dealers
  • Encourages ammo purchasers to buy out of state

Let’s be honest, what this is is a money grab by politicians to fund anti-gun interest groups and the bureaucratic state.  That’s all it is.  A way to generate money.  Because there is zero evidence that these (conveniently unnamed) “gun-violence prevention strategies” work.  

SEE ALSO: LA Times: These Gun Laws Would Have Stopped All But One Mass Shooting Over the Last Five Years

We know this because the city of Seattle tried a similar ammo tax scheme and it failed miserably.  The 5-cent-per-round tax imposed by city leaders didn’t generate the revenue its backers had promised and gun-related violence increased — not decreased — after the law went into effect.

There is the other side of the coin to consider as well, the opportunity costs of making it more expensive for citizens to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.  One byproduct is that fewer people carry concealed firearms for self-defense.    

As we’ve seen in virtually every state that has enacted permissive gun laws over the past decade or so, crime goes down as more people embrace 2A rights.  Which would suggest that one of the best possible solutions to crime-ridden communities is to empower citizens to keep and bear arms, to make it easier AND CHEAPER for them to carry.

That is the exact opposite of what H.B. 5040 aims to do!  It seeks to make it more costly for those who need firearms the most, minorities living in low-income neighborhoods, to use them, become proficient with them and carry them to protect themselves and their loved ones. 

But, of course, the supporters of the bill have no legitimate interest in empowering the people to defend themselves and, thereby, no interest in protecting citizens from violent criminals.  Quite the contrary, as Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, explained to GunsAmerica in an email.  

“The power to tax is the power to destroy. What you can’t ban you can tax out of existence,” he said. “What you tax you get less of, in this case ammunition. What you subsidize you get more of, in this case gun control.”

Gun control always fails at its ostensible purpose: to reduce violence. But in doing so, it succeeds at its true purpose: restricting 2A rights to make people more dependent on government thus increasing the power and reach of the Nanny State. Fundamentally, that’s what taxing ammo at 35 percent is all about. Pricing people out of protecting themselves so that they rely on the government to do it for them.

Stay tuned for updates on H.B. 5040!

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

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Scotty Gunn March 7, 2020, 6:00 pm

    Just an excuse to tax.

  • Robert J. Lucas March 6, 2020, 10:10 am

    It is about control and taxation. They never address the criminal problem which will still exsist even if they continue to increase taxes, and additional so called “Common Sense Gun Laws” in which there are over 25,000+ already across this Republic.

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    FEAR OF WHAT IS RIGHT!

    What are you afraid of? I will tell what I fear, the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights without due process in which the foundations of this country have existed upon for over two centuries. The re-interpretation, and the re-defining of these original documents is a perverted insult to the legal citizens of the United States. Many U.S. Families, including mine, since the inception of these documents have shed their blood to protect these foundations, and continue to do so in the present day. Our forefathers did not arm the American people for hunting, but rather to protect themselves from those who were doing the hunting, namely the tyrant King George. The second amendment is only to vouchsafe our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and to ensure all the other rights given unto us by our Creator.
    The wisdom of the framers of the Constitution once again is found consistent with the lessons of the Bible they used as their bedrock for civil law. The people’s individual protection should always be a primary concern of government “of the people”. In a righteous country, self-government reigns by the constraint of Christian morals. The civil government that desires such a monopoly of force (i.e. they are the only ones with guns) is a threat to the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens, for that government ceases to be “of and for the people.”
    Anti-constitutionalist’s stand for nothing. The situation determines their support for an issue and their emotions rule, not reason and rationality.
    The self- proclaimed “social-justice warriors” hopes that no one has educated themselves on past extermination history that this globe has suffered time and time again, which proves their circle of insanity.

    Anti-Constitutionalist’s=Anti-Americans=Enemies of the United States…

    “The right of decent private United States citizens to personally possess, transport, and responsibly use arms without government interference is the ultimate freedom and the main pillar supporting all other liberties.”
    “The inalienable and fundamental right to keep and bear arms which is enumerated by (but predates) the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not about hunting, gun collecting, or target shooting. Its purpose is to ensure that every RESPONSIBLE American personally possesses the means to defend the Republic from all forms of tyranny, within and without. It is what permits the other nine Amendments in the Bill of Rights to be more than mere hollow phrases on a piece of paper. “Its free exercise is the antithesis of serfdom and THE ONLY MEANINGFUL FORM OF HOLOCAUST INSURANCE KNOWN TO MAN”.

  • Scott Boura March 6, 2020, 7:06 am

    Didn’t the British attempt this with tea several hundred years back? We all know how that went.

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