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From The Editor | More Punishing Good Citizens For Criminal Violence

From The Editor | More Punishing Good Citizens For Criminal Violence

In this day and age when many politicians’ “answer” to violent crime all too often is punishing law-abiding gun owners, nobody is better at this injustice than leaders in Chicago and the surrounding area.

An excellent example is a recent proposal by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Ordinance 15-6469 would impose a 5-cents-per-cartridge tax on all centerfire ammunition, and a 1-cent-per-round tax on rimfire ammo. Commissioners tout the proposal as a strategy to battle the runaway violence on Chicago’s mean streets.

In truth, it would have absolutely no effect on crime. Here’s why.

In Illinois, only those holders of a valid FOID card are permitted to purchase ammunition. Consequently, the only people subject to this proposed tax would be law-abiding citizens who have passed the required background checks to be issued a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card—not the violent criminals currently terrorizing Chicago’s mean streets.

It’s a classic case of punishing the law-abiding for violence perpetrated by criminals. And, as many such laws and regulations do, this one would place much of its burden on low-income citizens who cannot afford to pay greatly increased ammunition prices. 

Let’s take a quick anecdotal look at the difference in price. In my area, you can buy 100 rounds of 9 mm target ammo for about $27. A 5-cent-per-round increase would jump that to about $32—roughly a 19-percent increase in the cost of ammunition, with no chance at all that violent crime will be affected. 

Of course, the proposal also requires a plethora of record-keeping by ammunition retailers, which would likely further increase the cost of ammunition. According to the proposed ordinance: “Every person who is subject to this tax shall keep and maintain accurate and complete documents, books, and records of each transaction or activity subject to or exempted by this ordinance, from start to complete, including all original source documents.” And, as you might expect, these records must, “… at all reasonable times during normal business hours, be open to inspection, audit, or copying by the department and its agents.”

As NRA-ILA recently pointed out, as gun ownership and legal carrying of firearms elsewhere have risen to all-time highs, the nation’s murder rate has fallen to nearly an all-time low. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Cook County politicians continue to blame law-abiding gun owners and legal, licensed dealers for their failure to respond appropriately to the problems plaguing their community.

The ammo tax proposal is just another example of the Cook County Commissioners continuing a failed policy of passing illegitimate and ineffective ordinances in an attempt to unfairly burden honest citizens and drive lawful businesses out of Cook County.

Use Your Power!

Please contact the Cook County Board of Commissioners today and strongly urge them to oppose Ordinance 15-6469. Call (312)443 - 5500 or click here.