Cook County Board Proposes Firearm Tax to Fund Gun Control Organizations

Oct 31, 2012, 22:12 ET from Illinois State Rifle Association

CHICAGO, Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

The Cook County Board's plan to punish citizens who purchase firearms has gone from bad to worse with the announcement of a so called "compromise" plan.  Under the previously-announced gun tax proposal, firearms and ammunition sold in Cook County would be subjected to a sin tax with the receipts earmarked to provide heath care services to gang members.  Under the new, "compromise" plan, the ammunition tax would be eliminated with the $25 "transfer" fee on firearm sales remaining.  Rather than paying to patch up gang-bangers, receipts from the transfer fee, along with another $1.4 million in taxpayer money, would now be directed to fund the salaries and program costs of local gun control organizations.

"The problem with the Cook County Board is that its members are convinced that the public is as gullible as they are," commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson.  "I've seen a lot of harebrained gun control schemes over the years, but this one takes the cake.  Does Board President Preckwinkle really expect the state's gun owners to pay a tax to fund organizations whose primary mission is to take their guns away?"

"Even the non-gun owning taxpayer should be outraged at Preckwinkle's latest boondoggle," said Pearson.  Over the years, local gun control organizations have flitted away tens of millions of foundation dollars in the name of violence prevention while, at the same time, Cook County's rate of violent crime has hit the stratosphere.  Now, Toni Preckwinkle wants to hand these same groups another 2 million tax dollars per year so they can hold bake sales, sponsor poetry contests, and litter our streets with empty shoes."

"While we're on the topic of taxes, let's talk about the impact of the 'transfer' fee on sales tax revenues," continued Pearson.  "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."

"Again, the fact of the matter is that demand for firearms remains strong and will not be diminished by the proposed $25 transfer fee," said Pearson.  "Gun buyers will just take delivery of their merchandise at locations outside Cook County.  Certainly, the transfer fee will cause an inconvenience to gun buyers, jobs will be lost, and sales tax receipts will suffer.  But, in the end, the public will continue to exercise its constitutional right to lawfully purchase the firearms of their choice – just not in Cook County."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership.  For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

SOURCE Illinois State Rifle Association