(Zero Hedge) – California lawmakers have used a legislative technique known as “gut-and-amend” to revive and fast-track a tax on firearms and ammunition.
On May 5th, the California State Assembly ‘gutted’ the contents of an unrelated bill (AB-1227) aimed at building energy efficiency, and amended it with language reviving a long-failed firearm and ammunition excise tax which, if passed, would be effective immediately as an “urgency statute.”
According to the new language, “The year 2020 saw an unprecedented surge in firearm and ammunition sales across the nation, and this trend has continued into 2021.” They say that the tax is needed because “This surge in firearm and ammunition sales and profits has occurred alongside an unprecedented nationwide spike in shootings and gun homicides.” Seemingly conflating legal gun sales with crime and violence.
A California bill regarding roof replacement building standards was just amended to completely change it into a gun and ammo tax that would take effect immediately. https://t.co/hOewLdlZ8S pic.twitter.com/jItKC9Cl63
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) May 6, 2022
The bill itself calls for an excise tax of 10% on handguns and 11% on long guns, ammunition, or precursor parts. California would then deposit the tax collected from the bill into a so-called Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Fund. We’ve stated that these funds are cover for liberal states to tax gun owners and fund their opposition research, which in turn supports more gun control laws. It’s like an authoritarian Uroboros.
Interestingly, a similar bill, AB-1223, was introduced by the same author, California state legislator Marc Levine, but failed to pass in February. This is another attempt to pass a failed gun tax by gutting and amending a solar roofing bill.
What’s even more telling of the lawmakers’ attitudes in California is this excerpt from the proposed legislation: “Existing law imposes various taxes, including taxes on the privilege of engaging in certain activities.” It’s obvious here that California intends to treat the 2nd Amendment like a privilege, to be taxed and taken away from those that are unworthy, or cannot afford it, instead of a constitutional right.
As expected, the reaction on Twitter from gun owners has been explosive.
As my representatives in the CA legislature, I am requesting you oppose AB1227 (Levine) as it is yet another racist, classist attack on CA citizens’ access to our #2A Rights. I expect you to find ways to remove barriers to RIGHTS, not place them. pic.twitter.com/YC2BIGh56c
— Triggerology (@Triggerology_FT) May 7, 2022
How is that even legal??
— Legal Backchanneler "Spooky" (@not_spookyguns) May 6, 2022
Just California doing California things
— Gilbert Quintanilla (@GilbertQuinta16) May 6, 2022
this would be shocking if it was happening anywhere else but California.
— The Machine Gun Nest (@TMGNMD) May 6, 2022
Can we tax voting at the same rate? Maybe $200 voting tax? Wait… Taxation of a constitutional right… We already dealt with that.
— Nicholas Pettinato (@NPettinato14) May 6, 2022
While the insanity of the situation can almost be humorous, gun owners should look at California not as a bubble but as an example of what can happen when one party controls a state. Don’t forget, California was a Republican stronghold state until the 90s but now serves as a template and testing ground for gun control policy nationwide.