Republicans Buck California’s Extreme Tax On Guns & Ammo

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will soon receive a bill on his desk that would, in essence, make it more difficult for people in the state to purchase a gun.

This week, lawmakers in the heavily Democratic California Legislature approved a measure that would increase taxes on both ammunition and guns as a way to fund security improvements for public schools as well as other programs that would prevent gun violence.

Ammunition and guns are already taxed by the federal government. The money it receives is then given to states, which use it for programs focused on hunter safety and wildlife conservation.

If Newsom were to sign California’s proposal into law, the new tax would be 11%. That would match the highest tax rate the federal government has for guns.

On Tuesday, a prominent Republican lawmaker from California criticized the bill. Tom Lackey, a state Assemblyman, appeared on the “Fox & Friends” program and said:

“It’s unfortunate that we have to wait and see what’s going to happen because this is really a brutal, unfair attack on our Second Amendment and our ability to defend ourselves. …

“Even the polls say 76% of Californians consider violence and street crime a great threat. And this is the ability to protect ourselves against street violence and crime. And it’s just really unfair.”

The state Assemblyman added that liberals use “gun violence” as a term to stir up strong emotions, placing the blame on guns for the violence rather than on the individuals who use the guns.

He commented:

“I don’t even like the term gun violence because it is inappropriately directing the heat and fear on the weapon instead of the behavior. And they’re quite good at crafting that misleading emotion.”

Lackey does have a lot of experience with guns and how they help to protect people. After all, he served as an officer with the highway patrol for years. He said that the fact he had a gun helped to keep him as well as other people safe.

He said:

“I remind my fellow legislators of this very fact that it prevented violence just by being present and being visible on my side. But, yet that gets ignored because they’re able to stir the hate and the fear of weapons instead of the behavior behind it.”

Ainsley Earhardt, one of the co-hosts of the Fox program, asked Lackey whether the Democrats’ bill was meant to discourage people from owning guns in California, and Lackey agreed.

Newsom will have until October 14 to make the decision about whether he’ll sign the proposal into law. To this point, it’s not certain what he will end up doing.

While the governor has been very adamant in wanting to improve gun safety, he also has been very much against increasing taxes. That means that it’s not a foregone conclusion that Newsom will automatically sign the bill, just because Democrats in the Legislature approved it.