The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued this statement after the announcement that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was "compromising" on her violence tax. As it stands now, the tax will only apply to firearm and not to ammunition. I like Alan Gottlieb's comparison of this tax to the poll tax in the Jim Crow South.
BELLEVUE, WA – Wednesday’s partial retreat by Cook County, Ill., board President Toni Preckwinkle on her proposed “violence tax” is a good start, but the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said the entire idea should be scrapped.
CCRKBA panned the proposal more than a week ago, when Preckwinkle announced she was mulling a 5-cent tax on every cartridge and a $25 tax on firearms to help close a budget gap. Today she backed off on the “bullet tax” but still wants the tax on firearms adopted.
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb today was delighted with the partial victory, but said a “full retreat from this proposed gun ownership penalty is necessary.”
“Gun owners have won a partial victory,” Gottlieb observed, “but Preckwinkle is still trying to make them shoulder more than their fair share with this tax proposal. Face it, illegally-armed criminals are not going to pay any tax, so waging class warfare against legal firearms owners is way off target, and we brought attention to it.
“Besides,” he continued, “it’s not gun owners but government that got Cook County into the budget mess. How does a county government come up short by an estimated $3 billion, anyway?
“Experienced shooters and hunters know enough to conserve their ammunition,” Gottlieb said. “Public officials like Preckwinkle should take a lesson from that when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. Instead, she wants to just dig deeper in everyone’s pockets, whether they are gun owners, smokers or gamblers.”
Newspaper reports said the county budget could run in the red next year because of the costs of public health clinics, two hospitals and the criminal justice system.
“What Preckwinkle wants is to penalize gun owners for exercising a constitutionally-protected civil right,” Gottlieb stated. “The penalty should be on Preckwinkle and her political allies for spending the county that far into the red.
“This proposal smacks of the same social bigotry that produced poll taxes on minority voters in the South,” he concluded. “Preckwinkle should know you can’t tax the exercise of a civil right.”