“This dreadful legislation punishes law-abiding citizens and makes it harder to learn how to safely use firearms,” the NRA tweeted Tuesday morning.
The NRA is referring to the House Bill 5700, introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly by State Representative Jillian Gilchrest, which would increase the tax on ammunition from the standard state sales tax of 6.35%, to 50%.
“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. And so, we want to continue Connecticut’s legacy of being a leader on preventing and addressing gun violence and we see this as another step forward in that direction.”
However, the Rand Corporation, a non-partisan think tank funded in part by the Pentagon, had this to say about the additional taxation of firearms and ammunition:
“Taxation has been a standard policy lever used to limit the harms associated with potentially dangerous goods (e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, and soda or sugary beverages). It has rarely been used to manage risks associated with gun violence, however. Although several states and localities have imposed special taxes on firearms and ammunition, these have typically been used to generate revenue, not as a strategy for reducing access to firearms or limiting gun crimes. Therefore, there is little empirical evidence to indicate how taxation would influence firearm-related outcomes, such as violent crime, suicide, self-defense, or sales of firearms.”
Despite the lack of evidence that such a thing would actually work, state representative Gilchrest is proposing to limit the ability of the average citizen from obtaining self-defense ammunition and the training to properly, and legally defend their family.
Gun rights activist Colion Noir spoke out against Connecticut House Bill 5700, saying:
“Let’s not act like we don’t know what this truly is. Outside of the fact that you are trying to prevent people from utilizing their second amendment rights. But this is nothing more then a revenue generating scheme. All this is, is to garner more money and thus more control from the government.”
Noir went on to explain that this kind of law does not affect the type of people Gilcrest wants it to affect. The law is only going to negatively affect poor, law-abiding citizens who might not be able to afford the tax increase.
“What do you think is going to happen when you create a 50% tax on ammunition? It creates a black market. Thus, creating a situation for criminals to make more money, thus creating another situation where the only people who do have firearms, and the ability to shoot them, are criminals. People are not thinking when they come up with these laws.”
Noir rejects the notion that House Bill 5700 would do anything to prevent mass shootings.
“You think somebody who’s decided to kill a bunch of people and go out in a blaze of glory cares about a 50% tax on the ammunition they’re going to have to spend to do it? No, they’re not. So, you’ve literally stopped nothing, you’ve made nothing better, but you’ve made it worse for people who need guns the most. This is disgusting.”
The law would not apply to military or law enforcement, only to law-abiding citizens. It has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing.
What do you think of House Bill 5700? Leave a comment below to let me know, or better yet, call/write State Representative Gilchrest to let her know. But please, do all of us in the firearm community a favor and be courteous and respectful when voicing your opinion.