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!