Second Amendment

Sales Taxes Used To Punish Gun Owners

Officials claim to offset costs, but the value of self-defense is never mentioned

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State and local officials are pushing a new way to expand gun control: taxes.

Gun owners in and around Chicago last week started paying a new $25 tax on every firearm they purchase. In California, a statehouse panel on April 15 will hear testimony on a nickel-per-bullet tax measure, and in New Jersey, lawmakers want to slap an additional 5 percent sales tax on guns and ammo.

The effort to impose new taxes on guns and bullets faces serious opposition from pro-gun groups, but it shows how far some states and localities are willing to go in this new frontier on gun control — especially as Washington struggles to find consensus even on the most scaled-back gun proposals being debated in Congress.