New Connecticut Bill would Add a 50% Tax to Ammunition

New Connecticut Bill would Add a 50% Tax to Ammunition

by John Crump

Hartford, CT –-(Ammoland.com)- Connecticut state representative Jillian Gilchrest is proposing a 50% “sin tax” on ammunition.

House Bill (HB) 5700 has been introduced to the Connecticut State House of Representatives. State Senator Will Haskell has introduced a companion bill in the Connecticut State Senate.

In a Twitter post, Gilchrest said she is getting push back on the bill about the need to protect one’s home. She asked, “how much ammunition does someone really need to do that?”

What responsible gun owners would tell the Freshmen Democrat is that it takes a lot. It isn’t just about the rounds that someone defends their homes has in their gun. It takes a lot of practice with a firearm to use it correctly in a defensive situation. Gun owners would argue by restricting ammunition that you make a dangerous situation even more dangerous.

In the video, Gilchrest says she views guns as a health issue. She states that she thinks that this tax would cut down on gun owners just as taxes on cigarettes cut down on smokers.

This bill will run into some serious Constitutional issues. These taxes are more akin to Poll Taxes than taxes on cigarettes. Voting is a right. Smoking is not.

The Supreme Court of The United States has ruled multiple times that a tax cannot specifically target a right with a tax. A sales tax is okay since it is on all items, but courts could see a tax that only applies to ammunition as unconstitutional.

In Murdock v. Pennsylvania SCOTUS ruled that the state could not a license tax on a solicitor. A Jehovah’s Witness filed the case. He was asking contributions in exchange for books and pamphlets. The state argued that he was selling these items.

SCOTUS ruled that the Jehovah’s Witness was exercising his freedom of religion. The court ruled that the state could not specifically target his right with a tax.

Cox v. New Hampshire is another case where SCOTUS ruled that the state cannot use a tax to target a specific right. Gun advocates will surely sue because a tax on ammunition specifically targets a right.

The Connecticut Democrats will most likely cite the tax paid to the government for items that fall under the National Firearms Act of 1934. SCOTUS is currently considering taking up Kettler vs. The United States of America. Jeremy Kettler is petitioning the court claiming that the NFA tax is a targeted tax against his right to bear arms.

Another Constitutional hurdle the proposed law could be the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections SCOTUS eliminated the poll tax because of how it adversely black and poor white voter compare to their wealthy counterparts. This new tax will hit the poor harder than the rich.

Willes K. Lee, President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies and NRA Board Member, agrees with this assessment of the proposed law.

“Gilcrest & Haskill are so naive and new to political office that they don’t know our public sees through their elitist hypocrisy,” said Lee. “They view firearms ownership and the right to defend oneself to be a privilege for only the rich who can afford yet another regressive tax.”

“Their bills target the most vulnerable, those law-abiding citizens who have the right to defend themselves and their families, who can least afford their privileged tax hike. They know that criminals steal their ammo, so their tax doesn’t stop crime or terrorism. These bills are racist in nature and their motives for introducing these companion bills should be challenged.”

The House referred HB 5700 to Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding.

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