Blog 8/11/23

Weekly Spotlight 8/11/23-8/17/23

Democrat Lawmakers Propose Outlandish 1,000% Excise Tax on “Assault Weapons”

Last year, Democrat lawmakers tried and failed to gain traction on a proposal that would implement a 1,000% excise tax on what they deem to be “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines.” Spearheaded by Democratic Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), this idea has been resurrected in Congress once again.  Such an unprecedented tax would make the cost of some of America’s most popular firearms skyrocket, making it out of reach for many regular, law-abiding citizens to afford.

If such a tax were to take effect, a $500 weapon would jump to a price of $5,000, a $2,000 weapon would rise to a whopping $20,000, and so on.  This is nothing more than an attempt to chip away at citizens’ access to firearms, a move that would make purchasing a commonly-owned rifle totally cost-prohibitive for the average American.

Time after time, we see anti-gun lawmakers use the ambiguous phrase “assault weapon” to push new gun control measures.  They’re usually referring to the semi-automatic, AR-15-style rifles that are owned by more than 20 million Americans.  Millions of people prefer this kind of firearm for self-defense, training and sporting purposes, and according to a study by the Pew Research Center, they’re used in as few as 3 percent of murders.  And yet, the Biden Administration and Democratic lawmakers are hell-bent on passing “assault weapon bans,” and other ineffective policies. 

The proposed excise tax is par for the course when it comes to President Biden’s failed gun policy agenda, which has an all-time low approval rating of 31 percent.  The American people know that the gun control agenda will have no true effect on curbing violence in our country, but will only harm millions of law-abiding Americans.  In fact, even generous assessments of the 1994 crime bill – which banned certain types of semi-automatic rifles for a decade – show it had little impact on reducing crime or gun deaths.

An excise tax on some of the most commonly purchased firearms is an obsolete, anti-Second Amendment concept with no evidence to support claims that it would reduce violent crime.  All law-abiding Americans and responsible gun owners should remain wary of these constant attempts to crack down on peoples’ access to firearms – especially proposals that rely on the arbitrary use of the phrase “assault weapon.”

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Federal background checks for over-the-counter gun sales passed a big milestone last month, chalking up four solid years of consecutive seven-digit figures.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation confirmed the 48-month streak after calculating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System figures for July 2023.  The unadjusted FBI NICS total for last month stands at 1,987,650. Once the data is analyzed by NSSF to remove checks and rechecks processed for carry permits and other reasons, the number of checks for likely retail gun sales remains at 1,023,903, standing at the sixth highest seen in the month of July going back for the NICS program’s 24-year history.

Unless you’re an ardent gun enthusiast, you may not have even known that new, common-sense gun restrictions went into effect in Minnesota on Aug. 1. Lost in the whirlwind of the last legislative session, Gov. Tim Walz signed new laws that require background checks for firearm transfers and purchases, create new rules about owning a machine gun and establish a “red flag law” designed to protect people at risk of harming themselves and others with a firearm, according to an article published late last month by Rochelle Olson and Briana Bierschbach of the Star Tribune.

A female homeowner was forced to defend herself against two early morning intruders. The woman had been temporarily living in a section of her garage in St. Louis, MO. Around 3 AM on July 27, 2023, two men broke into the garage. One of the men charged at the homeowner, but she was armed and shot him. He fled the garage after being shot, but the other man proceeded to attack the woman. The police report stated she was able to hit the 2nd man with her gun, and he was shot in the hand. Don’t you just love a happy ending? Both suspects were shot and the woman sustained no injuries. It just goes to show you that a firearm can be a great equalizer.

A federal Judge in Colorado blocked a gun control law that limits the sales of firearms to people 21 and older, holding that it ran afoul of recent Supreme Court precedent. Phillip Brimmer, chief judge for the U.S. District of Colorado, ruled Monday in favor of a firearms advocacy group that sued in order to block the law known as Senate Bill 169. While the law took effect Monday, the judge blocked it from enforcement, ruling it fails the test established in the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision Bruen v. New York Rifle & Pistol Association.