Please attend tomorrow’s public hearing at the Maywood Courthouse to voice your opposition and call your Cook County Commissioners to tell them to vote against the anti-Second Amendment proposal that is slated to take place on Friday!
The proposed tax on firearms and ammunition in Cook County previously reported here is likely to be voted on by the Cook County Board Finance Committee this Friday. The original proposal to tax firearms sales at $25 per firearm and ammunition sales at a nickel per round is expected to be significantly altered with additional misguided provisions. Anti-gun County Commission President Toni Preckwinkle is reported to have given up on the proposed ammunition tax in favor of the creation of a special “gun court” as well as grants to “violence-prevention groups.”
This proposal retains the tax on firearms purchases, and therefore continues to penalize law-abiding gun owners for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. By definition, holders of a valid FOID card are the only persons legally permitted to purchase a firearm in Illinois, and therefore would be the only ones subject to this tax – not the criminals responsible for the violence on the streets of Chicago. Studies by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics have shown that less than one percent of prison inmates who were behind bars for a firearm-related crime, obtained their firearms from gun shops. The vast majority of criminals obtain guns through theft or black market transactions.
As gun ownership and legal carrying of firearms elsewhere have risen to all-time highs, the nation’s murder rate has fallen to nearly an all-time low, and both the nation’s murder rate and its total violent crime have fallen by half in the last twenty years. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Cook County politicians continue to blame law-abiding gun owners and legal licensed dealers for their failure to respond appropriately to the problems plaguing their community.
As Chicago-area jurisdictions have learned to their financial detriment in the past, the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental, and any revenue raised by this additional burden on citizens exercising that right is likely to be consumed by costly litigation and attorney’s fees as this tax joins the roster of restrictive and unconstitutional gun laws struck down by the courts. Federal and Illinois courts have consistently held that discriminatory taxes on the exercise of fundamental rights are unconstitutional. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a tax on the cost of paper and ink used to produce publications because “[a] power to tax differentially, as opposed to a power to tax generally, gives a government a powerful weapon against the taxpayer selected.” Minneapolis Star and Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Com’r of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575 (1983). Likewise, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a surcharge on marriage license fees to fund domestic violence programs because people “forced by the tax imposed to alter their marriage plans” would suffer “a serious intrusion into their freedom of choice in an area in which [the court had] held such freedom to be fundamental.” Boynton v. Kusper, 494 N.E.2d 135 (Ill. 1986).
The Cook County Commissioners are proposing to continue a failed policy of passing illegitimate and ineffective legislation in order to unfairly burden honest citizens and drive lawful businesses out of Cook County. Please contact Cook County Board of Commissioners TODAY and let them know you won’t stand for it.
The final opportunity for public comment on these proposals will be at the hearing scheduled for tomorrow, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Maywood Courthouse. Please sign up here to testify at that hearing and tell Cook County Commissioners to stop their attacks on the Second Amendment. It is incredibly important the Commissioners listed below vote against this proposal on Friday. Please contact the Commissioners listed below specifically and encourage them to vote to protect your Second Amendment rights. A full list of the Cook County Commissioners can be found by clicking here.
Commissioner Bridget Gainer
Phone: (312) 603-4210
Commissioner William M. Beavers
Phone: (312) 603-2065
District Office Phone: (773) 731-1515
Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy
Phone: (312) 603-4216
Commissioner Earlean Collins
Phone: (312) 603-4566
Commissioner John A. Fritchey
Phone: (312) 603-6380
Commissioner Edwin Reyes
Phone: (312) 603-6386
Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski
Main Office Phone: (312) 603-6384
District Office Phone: (708) 352-2301
Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman
Phone: (312 )603-4215
Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri
Phone: (312) 603-4393
Commissioner Timothy Schneider
Phone: (312) 603-6388
Commissioner Gregg Goslin