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October 9, 2012

What do folks think of a local "violence tax" on guns and ammunition?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this new local article out of Chicago, headlined "Cook County Considers 'Violence Tax'." Here are the interesting details:

A potential Cook County tax takes aim at guns, and gun rights activists aren't happy about it.

County president Toni Preckwinkle is considering a "violence tax" on guns and ammunition to help plug a $115 million budget gap in 2013. Under the tax, guns and ammunition would cost more, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, but Preckwinkle isn't saying how much more just yet.

The idea follows a violent Chicago summer, when some weekends left multiple people killed and dozens others injured in shootings. The city's murder rate is up 25 percent, and the Cook County Jail is near capacity with 9,000-plus inmates....

The idea raises questions about how much this would raise for the county and whether the tax would really cut down on crime.

"If we can tax cigarettes, it seems we can tax bullets and guns," said Chicago resident Cathryn Taylor. "But at the same time, I get the point that if people are buying the stuff illegally, then the tax doesn't matter because they aren't going through legal channels anyway."

The idea has come up before. Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) pushed for a 10-cent per-bullet tax back in 2007 when he was Cook County board commissioner. That didn't happen....

Preckwinkle's budget proposal is set to be unveiled Oct. 18, and an ammunition tax isn't the only potential money maker on the table. The board president reportedly wants to lease the top two floors of the County Building in Chicago's Loop for what she estimates could net at least $1 million a year for 10 years.

In response to this story, I cannot help but think about Chris Rock's great riff on gun control and "bullet control" in which he explains just why the world would be so much better if each bullet cost $5,000.

October 9, 2012 at 05:18 PM | Permalink


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Boo - Hiss ‼

Posted by: Anon. #3.14159 | Oct 9, 2012 5:22:40 PM

My goodness. Chicago looks like it's not taking its loss in McDonald too well. Well, why should it? Rahm doesn't care for First Amendment rights (thus his push to run Chick-fil-A out of town because of its beliefs), so why would anyone think he cares for Second Amendment rights either?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 9, 2012 6:20:43 PM

Surely not. 2A and all that. I think the proper path there is to cut funding for counsel for the poor and things of that nature as some jurisdictions do. It's not like there is a constitutional provision for that sort of thing.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 9, 2012 7:01:52 PM

Joe --

You're quite right. There is no Constitutional provision specifying a specific level of funding for criminals who expect someone else to pick up the tab. Thus, in the era of tight budgets, everyone has to cut back, including -- O horror of horrors -- criminal defendants. Isn't that just too bad.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 9, 2012 7:16:27 PM

As long as they can pay it with lead from the open end of the gun i have no problem with it.

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 9, 2012 7:51:21 PM

Should also have a piece of companion legislation. Official "fucktard govt stooge tax" Each and every fucktard govt stooge will be charge $1.00 per word anytime they open thier mouth in an official capacity.

That would generate a billion dollar surplus in the first week!

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 9, 2012 7:52:51 PM

Wasn't this Chris Rock's idea?

Posted by: C.E. | Oct 9, 2012 8:50:01 PM

Gah, I guess I should read the entire post before posting. Sorry.

Posted by: C.E. | Oct 9, 2012 9:06:52 PM

Hey, if everybody had guns, gun crimes would go down just because the moment someone pulled a gun in a, say grocery store, there would be about 20 barrels pointing at him in a few seconds flat. there you go, the government should just recommend more people have guns.

problem solved!


Posted by: caleb | Oct 10, 2012 9:45:51 PM

Belive it or not caleb. Your not alone. There was even a United States Supreme Court Justice who said basically the same thing.

that a well armed socity is a poite one.

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 10, 2012 11:27:41 PM

To reduce crime, tax bastardy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 11, 2012 4:24:45 AM

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