When the gavel hit the Speaker’s desk in the California Assembly on Monday, one of the worst anti-gun bills introduced in the past session was officially declared dead. Deader than the proverbial door nail. Make no mistake – this is a BIG win for GOC and the entire 2nd Amendment community because we fought tooth and nail to kill this awful policy.
AB 1223 by Assemblyman Marc Levine would have slapped an excise tax of $25.00 on every gun and a “yet to be determined” tax on each box of ammunition bought in the state. We confronted the Bay Area Democrat and asked why he wanted to penalize the law abiding who are engaging in a perfectly legal financial transaction of a perfectly legal product. If he were serious about putting a pinch on gun violence, then why not simply levy a special tax on someone who had actually committed a crime while using a firearm? That at least bears a nexus to the problem he supposedly wanted to solve. But let’s be real here – he wants to make it more expensive, more difficult, and more bureaucratic to buy a gun and ammo, thereby reducing the number of firearms private citizens have. This pie-in-the-sky emoting about stopping gun crime is baloney because punishing the lawful for the misdeeds of the unlawful has never worked.
If the Legislature wants to raise and expend resources to address violence of any kind – gun-related or otherwise, shouldn’t that be a cost borne by the whole of California’s tax-payers – rather than singling out those who choose to purchase a firearm?
GOC is firm in our belief that AB 1223 was nothing more than mandated legislative theft – a state condoned money grab. If the Legislature wants to raise and expend resources to address violence of any kind – gun-related or otherwise, shouldn’t that be a cost borne by the whole of California’s tax-payers – rather than singling out those who choose to purchase a firearm? After all, the overwhelming majority of firearms used in crimes are either stolen or secured on the black market by thieves. In fact, according to the 2019 U.S. Department of Justice Report on the “Source and Use of Firearms involved in Crimes” only 1.3% obtained the gun from a retail source.
So where does Levine go from here? His bill is dead, and the rules of the Legislature dictate that members can’t reintroduce the same bill in a two-year session. Common sense would indicate that this is the end of the road – at least until a new session convenes in 2023.
Well, not so fast…the Left doesn’t know how to play by the rules because they don’t have to play by the rules. Yes, some rules they can’t avoid altogether, but the fact is, they are skilled at moving around them. GOC wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this bill raised its ugly head again this year – another member could introduce the same language, or Levine himself could amend the content into an existing bill he’s carrying – the ol’ “gut and amend” routine.
That’s why the only meaningful way to stop any of these unconstitutional, punitive, and quite frankly, retaliatory proposals is to boot their authors from office. Tall task? Of course – but understand this: GOC will continue to fight every anti-gun politician we can. That’s why we were created in 1975 and it’s still our mission today in 2022. Join us!
Gun Owners of California