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States Consider Gun and Ammo Taxes

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.

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