Five States to Tax Guns, Three Networks Silent

On April 8, President Obama spoke yet again on the issue of gun violence in Connecticut, only an hour away from the Newtown massacre. NBC, ABC, and CBS all ran stories on this speech. While the media have continually attacked the gun industry and promoted stricter gun control than even the administration, they conveniently ignored new tax plans being implemented and proposed in five different states. 

These taxes will raise the price on guns and ammo, punishing law-abiding citizens for their gun ownership, and ultimately make it harder to exercise Second Amendment rights. 

Cook County, Ill. enacted what it called the “violence tax” on April 1, and this was no April Fool’s joke. The violence tax adds a $25 fee to every gun purchase made in the county, and the funds collected will help go to gunshot victims’ medical care at tax-funded hospitals. 

In California, a Democratic assembly member proposed a 50-cent tax to every bullet sale. Nevada heard testimony on a bill that introduced a $25 gun tax and a 2-cent bullet tax on every sale. A Democratic state representative in Massachusetts proposed a 25 percent tax on all sales of firearms and ammunition. And in Maryland, the General Assembly just passed a bill that included a fee of up to $25 sales tax on ammunition and guns.

These proposed state taxes would be in addition to the already existing federal excise taxes for gun purchases. 

The media should be jumping all over this story since it not only spiked taxes, something millionaire journalists love to promote, but also continued the anti-gun crusade that journalists have been pushing for years. And some outlets have given the story prominence. On the front page of the April 8 edition of USA Today, staff writer Judy Keen outlined the “violence tax” along with gun and ammo taxes proposed in four other states. California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maryland all have proposed gun or ammo tax initiatives in queue right now. 

But at the broadcast networks, there has been only silence There had been no mention of any of these proposed gun tax bills in any of ABC’s, NBC’s, or CBS’s news programs for the past six months.

On April 9, Politico ran an article, “Using sales taxes as a gun control tool,” that lauded the states for implementing these new taxes while “Washington struggles to find consensus even on the most scaled-back gun proposals being debated in Congress.”

As Politico observed, the opponents of these laws point out that only one percent of criminals charged with gun crimes actually bought their guns in a gun shop. According to the National Rifle Association for Legislative Action, “this proposal … continues to penalize law-abiding gun owners for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms.” 

So ABC, CBS and NBC, what’s not to love?