SAF Sues California Over New Gun Tax!

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The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) isn’t taking California’s new 11 percent gun tax lying down.

They’ve teamed up with the California Rifle & Pistol Association, National Rifle Association, Firearms Policy Coalition, and two private citizens to file a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court.

The case, dubbed James v. Maduros, takes aim at Nicolas Maduros, the big boss of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF’s founder and Executive VP, didn’t mince words.

“We contend in the lawsuit that this 11 percent tax is unconstitutional because it literally taxes conduct protected by the Second Amendment,” he said in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.

“There is no analogous evidence such a tax was ever applied at the time of the Founding era, as required by the 2022 Supreme Court Bruen ruling,” he added.

SEE ALSO: California Starts Taxing, Tracking Gun Purchases

SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut also chimed in.

“The power to tax is literally the power to destroy,” said Kraut. “Assembly Bill 28 gives the State of California the power to destroy the exercise of a right protected by the Constitution by singling it out for special taxation.”

“If allowed to stand, this tax could be expanded, and California could ultimately impose similar excise taxes on other constitutional rights it dislikes,” he continued. “This will not stop with a tax on the right to keep and bear arms.”

The lawsuit is calling for the court to scrap the excise tax on guns and ammo, saying it violates the 2A. They also want the state permanently banned from enforcing AB 28 and to cover their legal costs, including attorneys’ fees.

The legal team backing SAF and the other plaintiffs includes attorneys Chuck Michel, Tiffany Cheuvront, Laura Palmerin, and Joseph Dale from Michel & Associates in LA, plus David H. Thompson and Peter A. Patterson from Cooper & Kirk in D.C.

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  • Stan Justice July 15, 2024, 1:20 pm

    This old Supreme Court Case may, I hope, apply here in that the State of California is making an excise tax upon a Constitutional right (i.e. the 2nd Amendment in this case)
    Crandall v. State of Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 (1867) where the State of Nevada passed a tax on passengers leaving or crossing Nevada. The issue is the State’s power to tax, not the amount of the tax.
    “. . . That the power to tax involves the power to destroy; that the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create; that there is a plain repugnance in conferring on one government a power to control the constitutional measures of another, which other, with respect to those very means, is declared to be supreme over that which exerts the control, are propositions not to be denied. If the states may tax one instrument employed by the government in the execution of its powers, they may tax any and every other instrument. They may tax the mail; they may tax the mint; they may tax patent rights; they may tax the papers of the custom house; they may tax judicial process; they may tax all the means employed by the government to an excess which would defeat all the ends of government. This was not intended by the American people. They did not design to make their government dependent on the states.”
    It will be observed that it was not the extent of the tax in that case which was complained of, but the right to levy any tax of that character. So in the case before us it may be said that a tax of one dollar for passing through the state of Nevada by stage coach or by railroad cannot sensibly affect any function of the government or deprive a citizen of any valuable right. But if the state can tax a railroad passenger one dollar, it can tax him one thousand dollars.”

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  • Alice jos July 3, 2024, 2:50 pm

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