A Democratic congressman wants a punitive tax on guns and ammunition
As Congress attempts to make up its mind on what, if anything, it should do about gun violence, at least one Democratic congressman has decided what's really needed is a big tax hike on guns and ammunition:
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, joined by Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Chris Kennedy, announced Sunday he plans to introduce a bill this week that would raise federal taxes on the purchase of guns and ammunition.
The Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act would increase federal excise taxes on shells and cartridges from 11 percent to 50 percent. It also calls for an increase in taxes on the sale of pistols and revolvers from 10 percent to 20 percent.
Taxes on other firearms, including assault weapons, would rise from 11 percent to 20 percent under the legislation Davis said he plans to introduce Tuesday.
Money collected by the tax increase would go toward funding anti-violence programs.
“There’s no reason to have the ability for individual citizens to walk around with assault weapons,” Davis said, noting that a goal of the legislation is to make buying bullets for such weapons cost prohibitive.
We give Rep. Davis credit for one thing: he's made his motivation crystal clear. His tax isn't about safety, or the children, or even to raise revenue. It's to make guns and ammunition so expensive no one (save the bad guys and the state) can get them.
We would be utterly shocked if such a measure made it out of a House subcommittee, let alone made it to the President's desk (Davis has tried and failed with the same bill since 2014).
But Davis' bill does demonstrate an old maxim of politics: you can have the legislation, or you can have the issue. Davis has chosen a bill he knows will never pass -- thus, giving him the issue. It's really not much more than cheap political theater. But we've come to expect little else from some quarters of the left.