Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Illinois: Cook County Considers "Violence Tax"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On Nov. 2, the Cook County, Ill., Board of Commissioners narrowly voted to approve a budget proposal that would levy a tax of $25 on each firearm purchased. 

In October, Board President Toni Preckwinkle had proposed not only the gun tax, but also a 5-cent tax on every round of ammunition sold in the nation’s second largest county. If adopted, the proposed tax would have fallen almost exclusively on law-abiding gun owners, driving up the cost of some calibers by over 150 percent. Preckwinkle defended the proposal as a way to curb violence in Cook County, saying, “The wide availability of ammunition exacerbates the problem.”

The proposal is divorced from reality. A survey of federal and state inmates, published by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that only a small fraction of the criminals acquired their guns at retail stores. Most opted for the black market or theft. Illinois requires a state Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (foid) to purchase ammunition, so the criminals of Cook County have already proven their willingness to obtain ammunition illegally. (Preckwinkle appeared ignorant of the foid requirement and other laws, misleading the Chicago media by claiming that “ammunition sales are not regulated, which means even ammunition used in illegal gun activity can be purchased legally.”)

Additionally, criminals use very little ammunition. A study of four years of criminal shootings in Jersey City, n.j., found that the perpetrators fired an average of 3.2 to 3.7 shots in attacks using semi-automatic handguns and 2.3 to 2.6 with revolvers. In contrast, law-abiding gun owners often use hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a single trip to the range.

Though Preckwinkle is an avowed “progressive,” her proposed tax is decidedly regressive, burdening those who can afford it least. Wealthier residents could avoid the tax by crossing the county line, while those of lesser means, often living in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods, would have to pay the tax or forgo exercising the right to self-defense. 

The Constitution isn’t on Preckwinkle’s side either. Federal and state courts have consistently blocked discriminatory taxes on the exercise of constitutional rights. In 1983, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a special tax on ink and paper for publications, saying, “A power to tax differentially, as opposed to a power to tax generally, gives a government a powerful weapon against the taxpayer selected.” 

And although skeptical council members shelved the ammunition tax, Cook County gun owners shouldn’t celebrate just yet. Preckwinkle has made clear her plans to pursue an ammunition tax in the future. 

TRENDING NOW
Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Privacy Legislation

Friday, September 24, 2021

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Privacy Legislation

Yesterday, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 173 into law, giving researchers access to a host of information on gun owners, including personal identifying information.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

University President, Activist Scolds, Try to Take “Come and Take It” Battle Cry

News  

Monday, September 20, 2021

University President, Activist Scolds, Try to Take “Come and Take It” Battle Cry

Long a slogan of defiance and independence, it is little wonder that the phrase “Come and take it” now finds itself falling into disfavor with a new generation of busybodies and penny-ante authoritarians. The latest ...

NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

News  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

As we’ve previously reported, the Biden Department of Justice is threatening to upend the U.S. firearm industry and how Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

The State of Surveillance: California Cops and Social Media Monitoring

News  

Monday, September 20, 2021

The State of Surveillance: California Cops and Social Media Monitoring

Last year, the Brennan Center for Justice requested under California’s freedom of information law, that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) provide records relating to the Department’s “social media monitoring” activities.

Harvard Researcher: About Half of New Gun Owners are Women

News  

Monday, September 20, 2021

Harvard Researcher: About Half of New Gun Owners are Women

In a blow to the tired stereotypes perpetuated by gun control supporters, a recent academic survey found broad diversity among recent first time gun buyers.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.