Guns, Ammunition and Taxes (Specialty Taxes)

With all the news about guns and ammunition in the news lately, the federal government, states, and some cities are proposing taxes (sin taxes) for purchasing a gun or ammunition.  The tax ranges from a flat $25, five cents per round, two-cent per bullet, to a 25- 50% on ammunition tax.

The cities and states that have implemented a tax on guns or ammunition are:

Chicago – A flat $25 tax on gun purchases

Nevada – two-cent per round ammunition tax and a $25 tax for gun purchases.

California – five cent tax per bullet purchased has been introduced by California Assembly member Roger Dickinson.

Maryland – $25 fee for handgun licenses has already passed the general assembly.  Another bill has been introduced to put a 50% tax on ammunition

Massachusetts – a 25% tax on ammunition has been introduced.

At the Federal level, a 10% tax on ammunition has been introduced by Democrats.

I call these taxes on gun purchases or ammunition a sin tax since Massachusetts state Rep. David Linsky, a Democrat said we tax alcohol, cigarettes, and other items (sin taxes).  Most of the gun and ammunition taxes that have been passed or proposed are targeted for spending for mental health services and gun victims.    The federal 10% tax proposal is supposed to be used for gun buybacks.  We want you to pay the 10% tax when you buy a gun.  However, we want to buy your gun back using the 10% tax that  you paid.

It seems from my prospective that in the last year that the states and cities have been began proposing specialty taxes.  These specialty taxes are targeting certain services or products in order to pay for or expand a particular service that was already being budgeted for in their general budget.  At the rate the states and cities are proposing these specialty taxes, every product or service that we purchase will have additional tax in addition to the sales and use or other taxes.

Agree or disagree, you have to admit that the sneaker tax and the bicycle tax is only the beginning of specialty taxes.  We have already seen under the Affordable Health Care Tax (Obamacare) taxes on medical devices.  As a State passes a specialty tax, another States looks at what this other State did and say that we can do that or we can do one better.  States look at sin taxes to try to persuade the public.

Do you think we are headed for specialty taxes?  If so, where does it end?  What other specialty taxes have been proposed this year that you’ve seen that I didn’t mention above?  I would like to a podcast on Specialty Taxes.


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