August 29th, 2020

Gun Control by Government Fees and Taxes — New Jersey Plan

Phil Murphy new jersey governor gun taxes second amendment
This story is based on an article by Larry Keene of the NSSF

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has a new plan to deny the Second Amendment rights of NJ citizens — hit them in their pocketbooks, and hit them hard. Using the COVID-19 Pandemic as a pretext, Gov. Murphy, a Democrat, is calling for a massive increase in fees, taxes, and surcharges on gun owners:

1. Raise cost of Handgun Purchase Permit from $2 to $50 — 2400% increase.
2. Raise cost of Firearm ID Card from $5 to $100 — 1900% increase.
3. Raise cost of Handgun Carry Permit from $50 to $400 — 700% increase.
4. Raise fee for firearms manufacturer from $150 to $1500 — 900% increase.
5. Raise fee for firearms Retail Dealer License from $50 to $500 — 900% increase.

This shows how government taxes and fees can be aggressively used to restrict gun ownership. In California, another blue state run by a corrupt Democratic governor who likes to rule by Executive Order, we have myriad gun-related fees and taxes, and now must pay for a license in order to purchase ammo. This is how Democrats intend to use state taxing powers to defeat the Second Amendment.

Gun Control by Tax in New Jersey

Commentary by Larry Keene, NSSF
Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is… proposing “stronger gun control” in the Garden State. This time, he’s using the COVID-19 pandemic to raise taxes on law-abiding gun owners and those wishing to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Now it will be up to the state legislature to approve or reject his new antigun proposals. New Jersey residents shouldn’t hold their breath as antigun Democrats control both chambers by wide margins.

More gun control has been a pillar for Gov. Murphy since he took office in 2018. In his first two years in office, he pushed for and signed into law 10 more-stringent gun control laws in a state already known for having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In 2020, the spreading Coronavirus pandemic gave him an opportunity to do even more[.]

Five Million New Gun Owners in the USA in 2020
Nearly 5 million Americans … purchased a firearm for the first time this year. The reasons were all around us. Reports of local law enforcement becoming stretched thin, criminals being released from jails and quickly committing violent crimes again, and now more recently violent riots and looting in cities and cries of “defund the police” have increased.

Gov. Murphy, who now wants to levy more fees and taxes to close the COVID budget gaps, actively worked to keep gun buyers out of stores. He shut down firearm retailers and related businesses, deeming them “non-essential” at a time when they were most essential. He faced immediate backlash and lawsuits, leading him to backtrack and allow retailers to open again. Gov. Murphy tried explaining his reasoning, stating “I wasn’t thinking about the Bill of Rights”.

Phil Murphy new jersey governor gun taxes second amendment

Raising Taxes as Means for More Gun Control
New Jersey is already known as a high-taxed blue state operating in the red. Now, to address next year’s budget shortfall and seeing an opportunity to further squelch the Second Amendment, Gov. Murphy proposed massive taxes and fees on firearms and ammunition[.]

Gov. Murphy’s proposed antigun increases include raising the handgun purchasing permit fee 2400 percent from $2 to $50; the cost of a firearm ID card by 1900 percent from $5 to $100; the price of a handgun carry permit 700 percent from $50 to $400; the fee for a gun retail dealer license by 900 percent from $50 to $500; and the fee for a firearm manufacturer 900 percent from $150 to $1,500. There are, or course, additional fee increases as well.

Anti-Gun Birds of a Feather
Gov. Murphy isn’t alone in using the pandemic to infringe on the constitutional rights of lawful Americans. Gov. Murphy’s northern neighbor, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, behaved similarly as did New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. These three governors have something else in common. They all forced gun stores to close during the pandemic despite the Department of Homeland Security saying gun stores are essential business.

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October 26th, 2015

Seattle Gun and Ammo Tax Challenged by Firearms Groups

Seattle Gun ammo tax

Seattle recently passed a law imposing special taxes on the sale of guns and ammunition. Labeled a “gun violence” tax, the Seattle ordinance is designed to discourage firearms use and, presumably, drive gun and ammo vendors out of the city. City Council President Tim Burgess, author of the controversial Seattle ordinance, likened the gun/ammo levy to “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco: “We’ve been working on this for several years. We tax cigarettes and alcohol and even wood-burning stoves for public health purposes. Why not guns and ammunition?”

Opponents of the new law have taken the city to court. The NRA, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), NSSF and other organizations have challenged the so-called “gun violence tax” recently passed by the Seattle City Council. A motion for summary judgment has been filed citing Washington State’s long-standing preemption statute which “fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state.”

Gun group lawyers argued that the city “is well aware of this restriction on its legislative power” because Seattle’s most recent attempt to regulate firearms was emphatically struck down by the Court of Appeals in the case of Chan vs. Seattle. (That lawsuit derailed an attempt by the city under former Mayors Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn to ban guns in city park facilities.)

Seattle Gun ammo tax

“Seattle is trying to be too clever by half,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This so-called ‘gun violence tax’ clearly seeks to limit access to firearms and ammunition by imposing what amounts to a regulatory fee on the sale of all firearms and ammunition within City limits. The city can’t do that, and we’re confident the court will tell them so. In the final analysis, this is an attempt to skate around, and thus erode, our state’s model preemption law. That cannot be allowed to stand. The City of Seattle is not an entity unto itself, but still part of Washington State, and therefore the city has to abide by the same laws we all follow.”

Public domain Seattle photo by Rattlhed.

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