County Nixes Ammo Tax, But Approves Gun Surcharge

by
posted on November 15, 2012
sinews.jpg (220)

The move could send many gun retailers packing (pun intended), including mega-outdoor gear retailer Cabela's, which currently has a store located in suburban Hoffman Estates.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in October suggested a so-called "violence tax" be applied to all ammunition sold in the county (Weekly Slug Oct. 11), but that proposal was subsequently dropped.

The $25 per gun tax is meant to ostensibly add tax revenue to help close the county's mounting $115 million budget shortfall for 2013, as well as to decrease the sales of firearms in suburban guns shops and offset health care and other costs of gun violence, Preckwinkle said.

"Gun violence is a real problem for us," she said. "It's a problem for us in our criminal justice system and it's a problem for us in our health care system, and I make no apologies for the (tax)."

The City of Chicago is currently on track for a record crime year and its jails are nearing capacity. Murders are up 25 percent over last year, according to recent police statistics, and the county jail is filling up—with 9,000-plus inmates, nearing the 10,155 capacity.

Ahead of last week's Cook County Commission budget action, a statement from the National Rifle Association called the tax "misguided and burdensome," noting it "continues to penalize law-abiding gun owners for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms."

Also included in the county's fiscal 2013 budget passed by the commission last week, additional tax levies include a $1 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes and a $1,000 annual surcharge on slot machines located at the county's single casino in Des Plaines.

But critics of the commission's action say instead of raising tax revenues, the $25 surcharge on the sale of firearms could have the opposite effect, driving some retailers out of the county altogether—along with the taxes they're already paying.

Firearms and outdoor gear merchandizer Cabela's has already closed nearly half of its retail space in its Cook County store due to what it considers excessive property taxes. The company has indicated it could move to another county, taking the hundreds of jobs it provides—and the taxes it now pays—elsewhere.

Latest

knife-sharpening kit
knife-sharpening kit

First Look: Work Sharp Precision Adjust Elite & Upgrade Kit

Work Sharp is a U.S.-based company that is known for making top-notch knife and tool sharpeners. The company's Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener is a proven performer, and it is capitalizing on the success of that sharpener with the release of the new Precision Adjust Elite and Upgrade Kit.

First Look: Blackhawk Custom Kydex Holster Builder

Blackhawk is a leader in law enforcement and military equipment, and now they have a new custom Kydex holster program where customers can build and order their own holster or magazine carrier directly on their website.

Review: Maxim PDX Pistol

The Maxim PDX line is, in many ways, the ultimate expression of the PDW concept. It’s a small, easy to handle AR-pattern firearm that uses either Maxim’s superb PDW brace in the pistol model or a collapsible stock when sold as a short barrelled rifle.

Alternate Sources for Ammo

With ammunition being in extremely short supply these days, I have resorted to sourcing ammo anywhere I can.

First Look: SIG Sauer Custom Works Spectre P320 XCarry & P365XL Pistols

With the new SIG Custom Works Spectre P320 XCarry and P365XL, the Spectre Series from SIG Sauer has a new look. 

EAA Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Florida-based European American Armory Corporation (EAA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.