California becomes first state to pass 11 percent excise tax on guns and ammo

Photo by Dicogm/Deposit Photos

California legislators passed an 11% excise tax on guns and ammunition to fund gun violenece prevention programs, making it the first state to implement such a tax if signed into law.

Assembly Bill 28, also called the “Gun Violence Prevention and Schools Act,” passed in the Senate 27–9 with four senators abstaining, according to The Epoch Times. It had already passed in the State Assembly.

“It’s shameful that gun manufacturers are reaping record profits at the same time that gun violence has become the leading cause of death for kids in the United States,” Jesse Gabriel, who authorized the bill, said in a statement in July.

“This bill will fund critical school safety measures and proven violence prevention programs that will save lives and protect communities across California,” he added.

“This bill is a transformative approach in tackling gun violence and a crucial step to improve the safety of all California families,” said Renia Webb, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are grateful for our gun sense champions and community partners who worked so hard to pass this comprehensive bill that seeks to make our communities safer and target the root causes of gun violence. We urge the Senate to do the same so we can prevent senseless acts of gun violence from tearing our communities apart.”

“This is a time of crisis and challenges—with surging gun sales and violence nationwide—and also opportunity and progress as California leaders continue to lead the way on gun safety reform that is driven by evidence and real impact,” said Mike McLively, Policy Director for Giffords. “Assemblymember Gabriel has been a consistently strong champion working to make California safer for all who call it home. We look forward to continuing to work with him to strengthen California’s investment in violence prevention programs, strengthen protections for survivors of domestic violence, and get California back on the path of expanded safety and opportunity for all.”

The National Rifle Association spoke out against the tax, saying it is unfair to responsible gun owners in California.

“It is unjust to saddle law-abiding gun owners with special taxes,” the NRA wrote on its website. “Such a measure makes it more expensive for law-abiding citizens to exercise a constitutional right and discourages them from practicing to be safe and proficient with their firearms for purposes such as self-defense, competition, and hunting.”

The bill now heads to Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law. If signed, the excise tax would start July 2024 and is expected to raise over $160 million.


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