Colorado Senate Committee Approves Gun Tax Measure

by Vern Evans
gun tax money change

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A slightly watered-down version of Colorado Democrats’ onerous gun tax bill was approved on Monday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The version of HB 24-1349 passed by the committee would levy a 6.5% tax on the sale of all firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition in the state. The original measure proposed a 9% tax, but that number was amended in the Appropriations Committee.

Authors of the legislation seem to feel like it is the duty of lawful gun owners and law-abiding gun purchasers to fund programs that help victims of violent crime. In fact, the measure states: Colorado needs consistent and reliable funding from the state to sustain the services crime victims depend on, including wraparound services, housing assistance, legal advocacy, emergency shelter, long-term safe housing, case management, on-site crisis response, emergency financial assistance, counseling and more.”

One of the biggest problems with the measure is that it is kind of a “sin tax,” although aimed at those who have committed no “sin,” in this case violent crime. Since the tax is levied at the manufacturer and retailer level, it will be passed on to the consumer as a higher price to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer.

However, since those purchasing guns will undergo a federal background check proving they are not criminals, proven law-abiding Colorado citizens will be paying the additional fee to take care of crime victims. In the meantime, the criminals who harmed those victims will continue to get their guns on the street or by stealing them, thereby not helping foot the bill to protect the victims they created.

Of course, a federal excise tax of 11% has been collected on gun sales by the federal government for decades, with proceeds doled out to state wildlife agencies for conservation projects. Promoters of the bill try to compare the new tax measure to that tax, with the measure stating: “This act will similarly place a reasonable state surtax on firearm and ammunition industry members that profit from the sale of firearms and ammunition in order to generate a sustained revenue for programs that are designed to remediate the devastating impacts of these products on families and communities across the state.”

Such a statement, of course, blames violent crime on guns and ammunition, not on violent criminals who prey on the law abiding. Colorado Democrats, as in many states, are hesitant to blame criminals for their illegal misdeeds since it could negatively affect those politicians’ re-election chances.

In the end, the proposal is nothing more than an assault on lawful gun owners, law-abiding prospective gun buyers and the Second Amendment. The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration, which is controlled by the Democrats.

If passed by the Colorado legislature and signed by Democrat Gov. Jared Polis, the proposal will go on the ballot for voter approval in November.

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