Democrats have found it difficult to pass their anti-gun agenda, so now they are trying a different track: one that would make owning a gun so expensive that average, everyday Americans would not be able to afford it.
The latest attack on Americans’ Second Amendment rights comes from Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, who wants to impose a tax on some firearms that would make them 10 times more expensive, according to CBS News.
That’s right. The left-wing Virginian is pushing for an excise tax of 1,000 percent on guns.
And it wouldn’t just affect the sale of so-called assault weapons, according to CBS News: It said the tax would be levied on “any type of semi-automatic firearm,” which would include a large percentage of the guns sold in the United States.
The report on Monday said Beyer was working on the bill and hoped to introduce it “in the next few days.”
For an example of how badly this tax would affect prices, we can look at the costs of the oft-vilified AR-15. Beyer’s tax would add an additional $5,000 to the purchase of a $500 rifle. Worse, the new tax would add an even more outrageous $20,000 to the cost of a $2,000 rifle.
CBS News noted that Daniel Defense offers its top-of-the-line AR for about $2,300 on monthly installments of $108. Beyer’s tax would boost that monthly payment to $1,000.
Beyer spokesman Aaron Fritschner told the outlet via email that imposing this confiscatory tax is “a power clearly delegated to Congress under Article I of the Constitution.”
He also said that since the bill was being crafted as a “revenue measure,” it could be passed through the reconciliation process, requiring approval of only 50 senators instead of the 60 needed to pass most legislation.
“The easiest way to understand the basic concept of the legislation Congressman Beyer is drafting is if you imagine taking the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2021 and changing it so that instead of an outright ban it imposes a 1,000% excise tax on manufacturers, producers and importers of the same items,” Fritschner said.
Beyer took a moment to blast Republicans as he introduced his bill.
“Congressman Beyer has seen action to prevent gun violence obstructed by Senate Republicans using the filibuster after horrific mass shootings for years, this legislation represents an effort to put a new option on the table for those who believe that gun safety reforms are urgently needed to save lives,” Fritschner said in an email to The Hill.
The bill “would include all of the firearms defined as ‘assault weapons’ using terms similar to those in Congressman Cicilline’s Assault Weapons Ban Act,” he told CBS News, referring to legislation introduced last year by Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
Beyer’s plan would create a two-tier system for gun owners. The wealthy could continue to buy guns, but the poor and middle class would not be able to afford to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.
This looks like a violation of the Second Amendment. After all, “shall not be infringed” does not just apply to rich people. It is supposed to include all Americans.
Congress must act to prevent mass shootings.
I’m writing a bill to restrict the flow of weapons of war into American communities – including AR-15’s and high capacity magazines – that could bypass the filibuster and pass with just 50 votes in the Senate:https://t.co/dXFRFftYxu
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 5, 2022
Indeed, this outrageous tax would impinge on red states far more than it would affect blue states. After all, red states are generally poorer than blue states.
According to a 2020 survey by the Georgetown Public Policy Review, the median household income for residents of Democrat-controlled states was $71,719 in 2018, compared with the $59,709 earned by the residents of Republican-controlled states. The poverty rate was 9.3 percent in Democratic states in 2018, while the rate in Republican states was 12.1 percent.
In spite of that disparity, Republican voters are far more likely to own a firearm than Democratic voters. According to a 2017 Pew Research survey, 41 percent of Republicans said they owned a firearm, compared with only 16 percent of Democrats.
Beyer’s scheme violates what the Founders wanted. In fact, Thomas Jefferson addressed just this sort of legislative proposal, essentially saying that preventing access to an item that assists in exercising a right also violates the right.
In 1792, Jefferson wrote, “It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say, that the means follow their end.”
In other words, if Americans have no access to guns because they are too expensive due to direct government action, then their right to bear arms is necessarily infringed.
But, of course, that is the plan.
Democrats want to make the costs of guns and ammunition so prohibitively high that everyday Americans have no way to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
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