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Culture & Politics

Chicago-area Gun Tax Approved

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  November 12th, 2012 6

The Cook County Board of Commissioners has approved a budget including a $25 tax on gun sales. Board President Toni Preckwinkle dropped an earlier proposal for a nickel-per-”bullet” tax to round up support for the gun tax, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The gun tax was part of a program of increases designed to close a hefty budget shortfall. The county also raised cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack and added new levies for video poker machines and a use tax for out-of-country purchases of more than $3,500.

Commissioner Bridget Gainer said “I think the revenue increases are small, they’re targeted and largely they’re avoidable, if you so choose, to residents of the county.”

Illinois State Rifle Ass’n Executive Director Richard Pearson said “As a matter of principle, gun owners are not going to pay the $25 transfer fee—they’ll just buy guns in the collar counties. The average sales tax due on a firearm purchase in Cook County is probably around $80. So, for the sake of punishing gun owners, the Cook County Board will forego at least $105 in real and anticipated tax receipts per firearm not purchased in Cook County due to public opposition to the transfer fee. Only in the chambers of the Cook County Board could such a proposal make sense.” While $25 in tax is not that much in the context of a $1,000 pistol or $2,500 shotgun, it’s a lot bigger percentage of more modestly-priced arms. It’s clear that Cook Co. legislators regard a tax on firearms as a sort of “sin tax,” and that’s not an idea gun owners find acceptable.

They especially don’t find acceptable the notion that exercising a constitutional right can be taxable, with taxes subject to increase at a future date. Illinois’ now-imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich, for example, proposed raising the fee for a Firearms Owners Identification Card, essential in Illinois for buying guns or ammo, to $500. A $25 tax that causes only grumbling is a far different proposition at $25 or $2,500.

  • Richard Holdman

    As long as the people of cook county keep electing there tyrants, the people will see more and more of their personal freedoms disappear……Either elect true americans, or leave places like chicago, and NYC.

  • Michael Butler

    I thought you could NOT own a firearm at all in the city of Chicago!

  • MKG

    They can not take the guns away, but they can regulate and tax gun owners to death. The idea is to make gun ownership so inconvenient that people will just give it up all together. Living in California is just as challenging. I do not feel moving away is the answer though. I would rather stay and fight (figuratively speaking for now). If I can not win at least I can be a pain in their liberal @sses.
    Stand your ground!

  • Rick

    Folks in the drug trade can afford to pay $25.00 tax per gun all day long, that is if the are purchasing it legally. Otherwise, they will get them any way that they can. Big cities have failed miserably at drug enforcement and gang violence related issues, so they have to blame it on something …….guns. Gangs are nothing more than domestic terrorists, and should be treated as such. The drug situation in any big city is the catalyst for a large percentage of the murders and other crimes against persons. I would rather just give them $25.00 if It was gauranteed to affect the violence situation one iota. If you think think that this tax is really going to change anything……..you're asleep. I'm with you MKG……….moving away just doesn't set well with me; I guess I'm just not made that way. It's amazing to see people who live in the most violent areas, give up their arms for as little as $25.00 at these gun by backs. Sad.

  • David

    Taxation without representation. Sound familiar?

  • Matt

    Reason number 1,000,000 I will never move to Illinois, or especially Cook, Co. Illinois.

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