Colorado Proposal Would Level 11 Percent Tax On Guns – Bearing Arms

Colorado Proposal Would Level 11 Percent Tax On Guns – Bearing Arms

While we don’t generally talk about tax policy here, the truth of the matter is that taxes are a part of life. You get taxed on what you earn and get taxed on what you spend. Almost everything you do gets taxed. As soon as they figure out how to tax your oxygen consumption, they’ll probably tax that, too.

Buying guns is no different. You have to pay sales tax on your firearm purchases, and most of us don’t blink about it because it’s not any different from buying any other product.

If you’re in Colorado, that may well change in the near future.

Colorado Democrats hope to create one of the nation’s first taxes specifically aimed at firearms and ammunition, but the sponsor says she’s interested in raising funds, not discouraging gun ownership.

A new proposal at the state legislature could ultimately increase the cost of firearms, ammunition, and gun parts by 11 percent. If it passes the legislature, the measure would go before voters this November. Only California has passed a similar tax in recent history.

The sponsor of HB24-1349 — Rep. Monica Duran of Jefferson County, the House Majority Leader — argues that it’s “not a gun legislation bill.” Instead, she says, the point is to raise an estimated $60 million a year to support crime victim services and other causes.

“It’s not removing anything. It’s not impacting anyone’s Second Amendment rights whatsoever,” Duran said in an interview. “This is really looking at keeping those services available that families, parents and kids need.”

Various Democrats have introduced a wide range of gun-related proposals this year, including restrictions on carrying firearms in many places and a ban on so-called ‘assault weapons.’ Gun rights advocates argue that imposing a new tax on firearms would be an obstacle that adds new costs to exercising a constitutional right.

Duran can say this isn’t about gun control until she’s blue in the face, that it’s not about removing anything or deterring gun purchases, but I really don’t think anyone believes her, even on her side of the aisle.

When you slap an 11 percent tax on any good, it’s going to drive up the cost. That’s why lawmakers often use taxes as a way to discourage behavior. That’s why there are taxes that are higher than on other goods on things like cigarettes. It’s because they don’t want people smoking.

So yeah, I’m not going to buy this idea that it’s not about deterring people from buying guns or anything of the sort.

And when you explicitly tax a good attached to a constitutionally protected right like the right to keep and bear arms, you can claim until the second coming that it’s not impacting anyone’s Second Amendment rights, but that’s not remotely accurate, either.

Guns aren’t cheap as it is. I haven’t priced a Hi-Point or other low-cost firearm lately, but they’re still not exactly pocket change, either. The $150 Hi-Point is now around $200 or so, apparently. Tack on an 11 percent excise tax and that’s another $22 or more. If you’re scrimping and saving to get a gun because you live in a bad neighborhood, another $22 isn’t exactly nothing.

And if you want a better gun than that, it’s going to cost you even more.

So yeah, this is going to impact people trying to get a gun for the first time and it’s going to keep some from buying their first firearm.

My hope is that Colorado shoots this proposal down and shoots it down hard. Duran may well believe that there are programs that need funding, but they don’t have to be funded on the back of law-abiding gun owners.

My fear, though, is that Colorado is going to keep being the Colorado we’ve seen of late and fully adopt this because hey, screw gun buyers.

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