A Connecticut state representative is proposing a 50-percent tax increase on ammunition, breaking new ground in the gun control debate.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Jillian Gilchrest from Hartford introduced House Bill (HB) 5700, which would enshrine the tax into state law, in late January. A companion bill has been introduced in the state Senate by Democrat Will Haskell, who recently became the youngest Senator in state history at the age of 22. (RELATED: NRA Statement On Bump Fire Stock Rule)
Gilchrest posted a video on her Twitter page Monday afternoon explaining her proposal:
I’ve introduced HB 5700, a 50% tax increase on ammunition. It doesn’t apply to military or law enforcement. I’m hearing push back about the need to protect one’s home… but how much ammunition does someone really need to do that? #gunsense #enough pic.twitter.com/NZjkWBrpjC
— Jillian Gilchrest (@Jilchrest) February 4, 2019
“Currently ammunition is taxed at the same rate as other products,” Gilchrest says. “We want to increase it by 50 percent because we see it as a prevention measure.”
Gilchrest also said that her tax wouldn’t apply to law enforcement or members of the military, but claims it’s necessary for civilians. Gilchrest compares her ammunition tax to conventional “sin taxes” like those implemented on cigarettes and tobacco.
“We see this as a public health measure,” Gilchrest. “When we [increased taxes on cigarettes], we’ve seen a reduction in use. We want to continue Connecticut’s legacy of being the leader in preventing and addressing gun violence and we see this as another step forward in that direction.”
Gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association were not pleased with the proposal.
“This dreadful legislation punishes law-abiding citizens and makes it harder to learn how to safely use firearms,” the NRA said on Twitter Tuesday morning.
If the bill were to pass, it would likely face significant legal challenges from the NRA and other Second Amendment advocacy organizations. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”