- - Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s call for gun confiscation sent chills through the nation. When asked about gun confiscation policy for so-called “assault-weapons” he replied: “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15.”

But Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren has devised a way to disarm the poor — a steep national gun tax of 30 percent and an ammunition tax of 50 percent.

Her plan would triple the federal excise tax from its current 10 percent (for handguns) and 11 percent (for shotguns and rifles) and nearly quintuple the ammunition tax from its current 11 percent.


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The burden of the tax will fall on the people, not the manufacturer.

Under the Warren gun tax plan, parents seeking a typical $400 shotgun to protect their family would have to come up with $520.



Who would be unable to buy guns because of the Warren gun tax? Certainly not the oft-mentioned “millionaires and billionaires” she claims to want to stick it to. Many poor households will be unable to afford a gun to protect their home.  

It’s obvious which group Sen. Warren is targeting. Her tax targets those among us who are already the most vulnerable. Many people under the poverty line live in dangerous neighborhoods. While rich liberals like Ms. Warren can afford private security guards, the rest of us need to be able to defend ourselves. 

Ms. Warren states her gun tax would “reduce new gun and ammunition sales overall and bring in new federal revenue.”

Ms. Warren views guns as an inherent evil that must be taken out of existence. She knows repealing the Second Amendment is impossible, so she is attempting to tax the right to bear arms out of existence.

When you prevent the poor from owning firearms you put their lives in danger. You take power away from good people and give more of it to gangs and thugs. The only people this law will make safer are criminals.

Meanwhile in Congress, Democrat Danny Davis is sponsoring gun tax legislation. His confiscatory intentions are the same as Ms. Warren’s as shown by a statement he made last year: 

“So if rich people can only get firearms then only rich people would be able to pay the price and if that could prevent some people from getting them, I’d want to prevent all people from getting them,” he told The Daily Caller. “But if rich people were willing and would continue to pay the high price, then I’d be happy that we kept the other group from getting them.”

Even the staunchest progressives should worry about the constitutional implications of this legislative proposal. Imagine paying taxes to be guaranteed a speedy trial. Or to be read your Miranda rights. 

Imagine paying a tax every time you said something the government disagreed with.

Constitutional rights should never be for sale. If Ms. Warren imposes a tax on guns, speech or any other right shielded by the U.S. Constitution, she does so with the purpose of preventing as many people as possible from exercising those rights.

Ms. Warren’s new way of controlling guns is the most dangerous because it has flown under the radar of most Americans. The right to bear arms was put in place to allow the people to defend themselves from government tyranny. But our strongest weapon in this fight is the ballot box. If Ms. Warren becomes president, our right to bear arms will be taxed until it no longer exists.

Even California, the left-wing capital of America, felt the Warren approach went too far. When a similar proposal was brought up in late August, it failed. It was struck down by the legislature after many state representatives pointed out that low-income residents would be hit the hardest.

But two cities with their own gun tax provide a cautionary tale: Chicago and Seattle.

Chicago’s gun homicide rate increased sharply after its 2013 gun tax enactment. The Seattle gun tax was enacted in 2015 and immediately crippled gun sales, preventing many lower-income residents from exercising their right to bear arms. The results were devastating. In contrast to what gun tax proponents claimed would happen, gun violence in Seattle surged after the tax was introduced. In fact, twice as many people were killed the year after the tax was introduced.

The data is clear: Making it harder for innocent people to arm themselves makes it easier for criminals to terrorize them. 

Americans must take a stand against the Warren gun tax. Taxes should not be weaponized to strip the American people of their rights.

If we don’t take a stand today for the gun rights of the poor, tomorrow all of us will lose them.

• Emmanuel Sessegnon is a communications associate at Americans for Tax Reform.

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