Gun Rights

Politicians Consider High Taxes, Restrictions on Ammunition

Because that will totally thwart criminals


The Newtown, Connecticut school shooting has reactivated many familiar gun-control measures at both the state and federal level, from assault weapons bans to universal background checks for gun purchasers. But it's also inspiring some new or mostly new ideas, including one in Connecticut: a hefty tax on bullets.

The Hartford Courantreported last week that two Democratic legislators were proposing a new 50 percent tax on bullets as part of a broader gun-control bill. The Connecticut legislation is one sign that the gun-control debate that the shootings will prompt next year in statehouses around the country could morph into an ammunition-control debate, too.

The idea of a bullet tax isn't totally original. In 1993, U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York proposed a 10,000 percent tax on one especially lethal type of bullet. Still, when Cook County, Illinois was considering a five-cent-per-bullet tax this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported that no state or local government had adopted one. Facing political resistance, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ultimately dropped the bullet tax proposal and instead imposed a new tax on gun purchases.