What happens when big taxing liberalism and gun hating statism come together? Thanks to one state lawmaker in Missouri the answer is now revealed. You get a “special sales tax” levied against gun owners in order to pay for something that doesn’t directly benefit them at all.
As a libertarian I’m all about “use taxes.” The notion that if you use something then it is ok to be taxed for it. Case in point, in Pennsylvania in order to use the state game land target ranges you have to pay $30 for the year and you can shoot all you want. No new taxes doled out to the masses to pay for something that not everyone uses. An added benefit to this is that it is harder to raise fees “under the radar” that people pay directly. Taxes on the other hand are raised all the time and people hardly notice which taxes are raised and by how much.
I mean, Pennsylvanians still pay a Johnstown Flood Relief Tax. It is an 18% tax that you never see on a receipt for wine or liquor but it is still collected. For those of you unaware, the Johnstown flood occurred in 1936!!
So it is disturbing to see that State Rep. Brandon Ellington wants handgun and ammo sales in Missouri to be taxed further in order to help fund body cameras for police. Ellington would have us believe that the state doesn’t have enough money to purchase these video cameras all ready. They do, they just don’t WANT to move money around in order to purchase them (heaven forbid anyone takes a pay cut) but this is also the modus operandi of gun hating zealots. Never let a tragedy go to waste.
Ellington is using the recent shooting of criminal Michael Brown as the platform in which launch this gun control tax. Usually gun controllers stand on the back of tragedy in order to prop up their failing arguments. Of course, since Michael Brown was a criminal who knocked over a convenience store then attacked a police officer and went for his gun forcing the officer to shoot him, its hard to call this a “tragedy.” I guess beggars like Ellington can’t be choosers.
So would the 1% tax on guns and ammunition be the end of the world? No. But it does open the door for more taxes as well as well as setting the precedent that guns and ammo are available to be taxed in order to fund any pet project the government may come up with.
Plus, even temporary taxes are rarely temporary, nor do they stay the same.
For instance, in 1936 the Johnstown Flood Tax was billed as “temporary” and started at 10%…now some 70 years later we pay almost double for this “temporary tax.”
I hope Missourians learn from such folly and fight all these types of infringements before they are taxed out of their rights.