Illinois: Cook County Proposal Would Force Law-abiding Citizens to Pay "Violence Tax" on Legal Purchases of Guns and Ammunition

Posted on October 10, 2012

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Cook County Board President and Commissioners need to hear from you TODAY!

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently announced plans to penalize, through taxation, the sale of guns and ammunition sold in the City of Chicago and its suburbs.   This penalty is set to be proposed to the Cook County Board of Commissioners next week. Proposals such as this are frequently sold to the public as a way to reduce crime and increase tax revenue. However, this is nothing more than a politically motivated stunt to impose a punitive tax on a targeted group of law-abiding citizens who seek to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right.  This proposed plan would subject purchases of any firearm or ammunition to an additional tax above and beyond the rate at which other goods and services in this area are taxed.  There is no evidence to suggest those who would pay this tax are misusing firearms and causing violence in Cook County.  This penalty would only negatively affect law-abiding gun owners, and in this time of economic trouble would severely harm legitimate business owners inside Cook County as people look to avoid the penalties by purchasing guns and ammunition elsewhere.

Law-abiding gun owners in Cook County are already subjected to inequitable measures restricting their Second Amendment rights.   And now, with this so-called “violence tax,” a highly specific subset of Illinois citizens will be forced to foot the bill for the actions of violent Chicago gang members and criminals. These sorts of measures constitute an attack on the wallets of those law-abiding citizens who are not the cause of this problem, while failing to address the real causes of Chicago’s escalating levels of violence.

There is no evidence to suggest that targeting law-abiding gun owners will solve Cook County’s crime problems.   In fact, the evidence points to the just the opposite, as a link exists between less restrictive firearm laws and lower crime rates — especially violent crime.  The percentage of the United States population in states that champion Second Amendment rights has increased, while the murder rate in this country has decreased dramatically - falling by more than half since 1991.  If Cook County were to adopt laws that target criminals instead of law-abiding citizens, the area may soon see a similar decrease in crime.

The intent and consequence of this measures will be to drive up the price of guns and ammunition, thereby burdening law-abiding gun owners and impeding their fundamental right to self-defense.  The 2013 spending plan that will contain this tax is set to be announced next week.  Please contact Board President Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners TODAY and demand that they halt their attacks on the Second Amendment. Their contact information can be found below:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

118 N. Clark Street, Room 537

Chicago, IL  60602

Phone: (312) 603-6400

Fax: (312) 443-4397

For a full list of County Commissioners and their contact information, please click here

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