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'Violence tax' on guns, ammo under fire

I appreciate lawmakers efforts to wring as much money as they can out of their jurisdictions. Times are tough for everyone, including governments at every level.

I also appreciate efforts to reduce violence. Any area that wants to keep its residents and grow has to be a safe place to live.

But even I, a fan of some firearm limits, knew the minute I saw the NBCNew headline about a proposed "violence tax" in the greater Chicago area that people would immediately take aim at the idea.

Gun_and_bullets_via DC Crimninal Defense Lawyers blogCook County President Toni Preckwinkle says a tax on guns and ammunition would help solve two problems.

First, Chicago's murder rate is up 25 percent.

A report cited by Preckwinkle's office found that nearly one-third of the guns recovered on Chicago streets were purchased in suburban gun shops.

Second, Cook County is facing a $115 million budget shortfall in 2013.

Some of the county's funds go to health care for usually uninsured shooting victims. That averages out to around $52,000 per wounded person.

Tennessee has an ammunition tax, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

Guns and ammunition also are subject to a federal excise tax, as well as state and local sales tax in most places.

But it looks like the usual argument that law-abiding gun owners, not criminals, would bear the greater burden will carry a lot of weight if the tax is comes up for formal debate.

And I bet that Chicago area legislators are going to have to come up with other, most likely separate, ways to stem the violence and fill their coffers.

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Taxing ammunition will do nothing to stem the crimianl elements of society. It will only adversely effect the honest gun owner.

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