In an effort to “help pay for the consequences of gun violent” states are looking to collective taxes on guns and ammunition, according to USA Today.
CHICAGO — Cook County, Ill., this month began collecting a $25 tax on gun purchases, and at least six states are considering new taxes on firearms or ammunition as a way to help pay for the consequences of gun violence.
The Cook County tax applies to purchases in Chicago’s suburbs, but not the city. The tax is expected to raise $600,000 a year, which will help pay for indigent gunshot victims’ medical care at county-run Stroger Hospital.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a Democrat, says 30% of the hospital’s trauma patients have gunshot wounds and it costs about $52,000 for initial treatment for each. The tax won’t necessarily serve as a deterrent to gun buyers, she says, but “it’s an acknowledgment that we as a society pay a terrible price for the proliferation of guns.”
Lawrence Keane, General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, believes the taxes “burden and frustrate the exercise of a constitutional right.”
The legislatures in New Jersey and Washington state are also considering bills which create new taxes on gun and ammunition purchases.