Mises Institute: Joe Biden Wants a Huge New Tax on Gun Owners

This article from the Mises Institute discusses the gun control policies from Joe Biden’s Presidential platform, including the buyback program and alternative $200/firearm tax and registration in Joe Biden Wants a Huge New Tax on Gun Owners

Joe Biden’s gun policy platform offers support for almost all conceivable forms of government restrictions on the Second Amendment. This includes bans and restrictions on sales, expansion of registration and background checks, expansion of buyback programs and gun-grabbing statutes, and the closing of all sorts of “loopholes.”1

While we are only at the policy platform stage, where proposals are grandiose and imprecise, Biden’s legislative agenda will clearly be anti–Second Amendment and not a program to reduce crime and violence. First, he wants to stop the “gun violence epidemic” with restriction on rifles when it is handgun shootings, not rifles, that are a problem and one that is mostly confined to big cities controlled by leftists. Second, he wants to go after “assault weapons” and “weapons of war” when he should know that rifles like the AK and AR “sporters” are not military-grade fully automatic weapons. Third, he would like to hold gun manufacturers civilly liable for criminal acts committed with guns, a move which would shut down the industry, the true goal.

In support of the government’s buyback program, i.e., the carrot, Biden has added a gun tax for anyone who wishes to keep their rifles and high-capacity magazines. If you want to avoid the buyback and keep your guns and high-capacity (greater than ten rounds) magazine, you would have to register both under the National Firearms Act, which triggers a $200 tax for each rifle and magazine—the stick. The stick behind the stick is a penalty of up to ten years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine. Registration involves filling out a thirteen-page registration form and providing fingerprints and a photograph of yourself.This is certainly bad enough for gun owners and Americans in general, but if history is a teacher the end results could be much worse, potentially catastrophic.

Joe Biden was sold to the American voter in 2020 as a moderate of the Democrat Party.  He was not a conservative, but neither was he an AOC progressive or a Sanders socialist. His image as a white moderate male was also used to help sell the voters on Barack Obama.

There was also a time when Biden was actually a pragmatist on Second Amendment rights. As the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, he helped pass the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act, which overturned decades of anti-gun court rulings and regulations to restore most gun owner rights and reexpanded commerce by eliminating restrictions on how and where guns could be sold. The legislation’s passage helped lay the foundation of the modern gun rights movement. According to Biden the pragmatist circa 1985:

During my 12.5 years as a Member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control. In my opinion a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime.2

Despite his recognition of the futility of using gun control to reduce crime and gun violence, the “pragmatist” turned to the dark side when it became politically expedient to do so. In 1993 he helped pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which required background checks through a new national checking system (the National Instant Criminal Background Check System [NICS]). The next year he helped obtain a ten-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazine sales.

As vice president, he was President Obama’s point man in developing legislative proposals and executive orders to shore up gun control at the national level, and yet even that administration admitted that gun control is almost a futile endeavor and that their efforts amounted to little more than feel-good measures.

While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the American people want action. If even one child’s life can be saved, then we need to act. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love.3

Indeed, with more than a century of experience we know that gun control does not reduce crime but rather increases it, as John Lott has demonstrated. According to Lott’s evidence and that of independent researchers, no form of gun control has positive effects and most forms have negative effects on crime, murder, and mass shootings. Indeed, the most noteworthy policies that improve these problems are the elimination of gun-free zones and the expansion of concealed carry laws.4

With respect to Biden’s proposed gun tax, what are the expected outcomes? The tax is certainly not designed to raise revenue, as it would raise little and entail a good deal of bureaucratic spending. It would no doubt encourage gun buybacks and reduce gun ownership at the margin, but to what end? It would mostly impact responsible gun owners economically impacted by the lockdowns and unemployment. These are the gun owners who reduce crime rates because of the deterrence factor they provide. The gun tax would also encourage the diversion of guns and high-capacity magazines to the black market.

Most importantly, would the gun tax reduce access to guns and in turn reduce crime and violence? Biden has already admitted that the answer is no: “a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.” Efforts to reduce gun violence through policies of red tape and taxes are doomed to fail and only lead to further inroads of enhanced policies of restrictionism and even outright prohibition.

For example, in order to address the real and imagined problem of narcotics addiction, which was already in decline at the end of the nineteenth century, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was passed in 1914 to regulate and tax the production, importation, and distribution of opiates and cocaine products.

However, the courts interpreted the legislation to mean that doctors could prescribe these drugs in the course of normal treatment, as a dental anesthetic or for short-term pain management, for example, but not as a treatment for addiction. This turned regulation into prohibition and quickly turned the imaginary crimes of blacks and Asians into very real crimes all across the country. Desperate addicts were willing to pay high prices and commit crimes to satisfy their addictions, and smugglers and drug dealers quickly developed a black market.

Similar negative consequences resulted from the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which started as a tax to reduce imagined crimes by minorities, i.e., Reefer Madness, only to quickly devolve into an outright prohibition. Fortunately, we as a people have recognized this mistake and are moving to legalize cannabis and hemp, i.e., marijuana, in a state-by-state process that works in the face of federal and international law.

As horrific and far-reaching as the consequences of the war on drugs have been, the consequences of “commonsense” gun control laws are potentially much greater in the long run. In a very important contribution, Stephen Holbrook demonstrates that the Nazis used gun registration information instituted and collected by the Weimar Regime to rapidly disarm the Jews and other political adversaries. This in turn greatly facilitated the Holocaust.5 A disarmed American population would similarly be much more vulnerable to political repression.

But putting this possibility aside, Biden’s gun control proposals, including the gun tax, offer no possibility of improved security, while most of them will make us less secure and more prone to crime and violence. Most importantly, they are all an affront and threat to our liberty as enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

MyNorthwest: Gov. Inslee, AG and Democrats Seek Assault Weapons Ban, Magazine Ban, and Ammo Control

On December 12, 2019, Washington state senate Democrats and others, including Governor Inslee and AG Ferguson proposed three bills, constituting a new “assault weapons” ban, a standard capacity magazine ban, and restrictions on ammunition sales. They claim that all of these bans are for safety purposes, though no previous such bans in any country have been shown to increase safety.

From MyNorthwest:

…Senator Patty Kuderer and Rep. Strom Petersen, both Democrats, will sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate proposing the assault weapons ban.

Assault weapons would be defined as semi-automatic weapons that contain at least one military-style feature, similar to other states with those laws that have survived court challenges…

The proposed ammunition legislation will include:

• Prohibits violent felons and other individuals who cannot lawfully obtain firearms from purchasing or possessing ammunition
• Makes it illegal for firearms dealers to knowingly sell ammunition to violent felons and other individuals prohibited from owning firearms
• Prohibits dealers from knowingly selling ammunition to violent offenders and other individuals prohibited from owning firearms
• Requires ammunition sellers to obtain a state firearms license, which costs $125. This change will not impact current firearms dealers
• Requires background checks for all ammunition sales 30 days after the U.S. Department of Justice changes its rules and authorizes dealers to use the national instant criminal background check system, known as NICS, to initiate a check for a transfer of ammunition

Ferguson is also proposing new requirements for ammunition sales, including background checks.

Related:

Change.org : Impeachment of AG Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee

KEPR TV: Petition to impeach Gov. Inslee, AG Ferguson has thousands of signatures

Liberty Park Press: Fury Over Gun Control Proposals by WA Attorney General

Washington: Hearing Scheduled for Legislation to Ban Long Gun Purchases by Law-Abiding Adults

From the NRA-ILA and the Gun Owners’ Action League:

Tomorrow, February 27th at 8:30AM, the Washington state Senate Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 6620, which includes provisions that would raise the minimum age to purchase many common semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to 21 years of age and would also establish a 10 day waiting period.  In addition, anti-gun legislators in Olympia also submitted House Bill 3004 on February 24th, a companion to SB 6620.  This comes just two weeks before the end of the current legislative session, as they rush to accomplish their agenda.

NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to attend the committee hearing tomorrow morning to voice their opposition.  Also, please use the “Take Action” button below to contact Senate committee members as well as your state Senator and Representative and urge them to remove all anti-gun provisions in SB 6620 and HB 3004!  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact senate committee members and your state Senator and Representative.

Senate Bill 6620, sponsored by Senator David Frockt (D-46), and House Bill 3004, sponsored by Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27), would raise the minimum purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in the State of Washington from 18 to 21 years of age based on cosmetic features.  Federal law already prohibits adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer.  Legislative proposals to prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring modern semi-automatic rifles or shotguns would deny them access to the most modern and effective rifles for self-defense, thus depriving them of their constitutional rights.

This legislation attempts to brand these firearms as having “tactical features” to drum up unnecessary fear of their ownership.  In reality, these firearms are only being defined by aesthetic features that in no way affect the functionality of the rifle.  Semi-automatic firearms only fire one shot per action of the trigger, and such technology has been available to American consumers for over a century.  Semi-automatic firearms are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for various purposes such as self-defense, recreation, competition, and hunting.

SB 6620 and HB 3004 would also establish what amounts to a 10-day waiting period for transfers of these firearms by requiring that they go through the state background check like handguns rather than the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that is currently used for all long gun transactions.  While federal law allows for such transactions to be completed if three days have elapsed from the time of the “delayed” response, the state check requires a wait of ten days in such a scenario.

We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms.  Passing a law such as this punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals.  The NRA supports efforts to prevent those who are a danger to themselves or others from getting access to firearms.  At the same time, we will continue to oppose gun control measures that only serve to punish law-abiding citizens.  These are not mutually exclusive or unachievable goals.

Again, please contact Senate committee members and your Senator and Representative urging them to remove all anti-gun provisions in these bills!

From GOAL of WA

GOAL Alert 2018-2
Legislative alert from Olympia 25 February 2018

HOUSE COUNTERPART TO SB 6620

ACTION NEEDED, NOW!

I’d say I’m sorry for the rush of messages, but I’m not. The rush is caused by end-of-session manipulation by Democrat “leadership” in Olympia, and calls for a strong response.

As I have posted frequently, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. And she’s not scheduled to sing until midnight on 8 March (a week from this coming Thursday). While the legislature sets cut-off dates and other procedural processes to keep bills moving and cull out other bills, the bottom line is that these are not written in the state Constitution, they are internal rules adopted by the legislature and may be changed by the legislature at will.

The House has filed a “counterpart bill”, HB 3004, to SB 6620. A counterpart bill is a verbatim duplicate of the bill filed in the other chamber. If both pass unamended, it/they go straight to the governor for his signature.

SB 6620/HB 3004 is a 14 section, 28 page bill in their words, “Improving security in schools and the safety of our students.” What it is is a Trojan horse, gun control hidden under the guise of the standard Democrat mantra “It’s for the children.”

Part I of the bill is a single section less than one page in length and talks about unspecified funding for “school emergency response systems.” Part II, “Students protecting students,” is three more sections spread over 10 pages and discusses nominally establishes a program whereby students may – anonymously if so desired – report potential threats to school safety and sets out procedures, including court action, to be followed, as well as identity protection for all involved in the process up to and including law enforcement and court personnel.

Part III is the zinger, “Semiautomatic rifles or shotguns with tactical features.” 18 pages, 24 sections describing the offending firearms as semi-auto rifles or shotguns with detachable magazines (mostly the features such as pistol grip, thumbhole stock, flash hider, grenade launcher – the standard litany of evil features from the federal 1994 Clinton/Feinstein “assault weapon ban”). There are some omissions here but I’m not going to identify them. Please note that these definitions do not include tube-fed firearms or manually operated firearms.

The principal focus in Part III is shifting “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns” to the same category as that applied to handguns: they can only be sold to individuals age 21 and over, and are subject to the additional requirements for handguns: additional state paperwork and waiting periods (with the existing CPL exemption).

Keep in mind, under I-594 ALL firearm transfers must be processed by a licensed dealer, meaning that de facto registration already exists via the FFL’s required record-keeping, but this would effectively add offending semi-auto firearms to the state pistol registry, creating an on-line data base of such firearms.

It also increases the state firearm dealers license fee from $125 to $150.

Text of SB 6620: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/6620.pdf

Text of HB 3004 has not been posted yet, but the bill’s home page is at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=3004&Chamber=House&Year=2017:

It is the intention of legislative “leadership” to ram this bill through before the end of the session. How much time will be given to public testimony remains to be seen – at this point no public hearings are scheduled.

It is imperative that you contact your legislators as soon as possible to ask that they remove Part III from the bill. Parts I and II are likely legitimate, but Part III is strictly a ploy to use school and children’s safety as a cover for more gun control.

You can find your legislators by visiting: http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder

Once you find your district, simply scroll down to see your Senator and Representatives listed. Click on their name and it will take you to their information, including a link to e-mail them.

Or you can call the Legislative Hotline tollfree at (800) 562-6000.

We need to flood the legislature with you going on record opposing Part III of SB 6620/HB 3004.

This is just step one on their agenda. There is already discussion of raising the age limit for the purchase of ALL firearms to age 21. The Bill of Rights does not impose an age limit on the exercise of fundamental, enumerated (listed) constitutional rights. Not to mention the fact that you can enlist in the military, or be drafted, and fight for your country at age 18.

If anyone receiving this is attending the WAC gun show in Puyallup today, please make copies of this and take them to the show. Thank you/.