New gun legislation reported by this column yesterday and headlining Fox News this morning – HR 3018, which would boost the federal excise tax on ammunition to 50 percent and on some firearms to 20 percent – would essentially force gun owners to finance gun control measures.
Sponsored by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), the measure is being touted as “a proactive approach to reducing gun violence by using proven preventive programs which have been starved for funds until now.”
For generations, there has been a special federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition to help fund wildlife management. As detailed yesterday, the 1937 Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid to Wildlife program has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into wildlife conservation and enhancement projects, range development and hunter education.
But the announcement of this new legislation is sure to ignite another hoarding frenzy among some gun owners, making it tougher – and more expensive, due to the law of supply and demand – for people who wear hunter orange or camo instead of tinfoil to find and pay for ammunition as fall hunting seasons open.
Yesterday, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, told Examiner the same thing he told Fox News: This is “confiscatory taxation” and it is designed to “tax out of existence what they couldn’t ban.”
“If people can’t find ammunition,” he said, “their guns are useless.”
From the legislation, here is how the additional excise tax revenues would be spent (notice there is not a penny allocated to firearms safety training, range development, hunter education, or wildlife):
(1) ALLOCATION- Amounts in the general fund of the Treasury by reason of section 3(a) of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (as amended by paragraph (2) of this subsection) are hereby appropriated and shall be available, as follows:
(A) 35 percent of such amounts shall be available for community-oriented policing services grants for the hiring and rehiring of additional career law enforcement officers under section 1701(b) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796dd(b)). States using funds for school resource officers shall include training, protections, and monitoring to ensure that school resource officers are used to improve school safety and climate, and promote positive reform in student suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to the juvenile or criminal justice systems.
(B) 35 percent of such amounts shall be available for the Project Safe Neighborhoods, as authorized by sections 101 through 104 of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007 (Public Law 110-5) and Public Law 109-108 (119 Stat. 2290, 2302).
(C) 10 percent of such amounts shall be available for the Centers for Disease Control National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for purposes of research on gun violence and its prevention.
(D) 5 percent of such amounts shall be available for the National Criminal History Improvement Program authorized under section 302(c) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3732(c)).
(E) 5 percent of such amounts shall be available for the NICS Act Record Improvement Program authorized under section 301 of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.
(F) 5 percent for the Community-Based Violence Prevention Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation Program of the Department of Justice.
(G) 5 percent of such amounts shall be available for the Secretary of Education to provide directed grants and technical assistance to schools eligible for or receiving grants under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to develop and implement comprehensive, evidence-based local or regional strategies (such as positive behavior interventions and supports, social and emotional learning, and restorative justice programs) to improve school climate, reduce the use of exclusionary school discipline, and decrease the number of youth entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
HR 3018 will be up for consideration when Congress returns from its summer break next month.
MEANWHILE, this morning’s e-mail included one message from a longtime friend who had received that bogus United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs letter that has been floating around the Internet for about three weeks. It has been disavowed by the National Rifle Association, AmmoLand and PolitiFact, and even Snopes has said it is a fake.
The letter purports to detail the agenda of a mythical UN branch called the “Civilian Weapons Confiscation Study Group” (CWCSG).
There are two troubling things about this document. It has been declared bogus by most people, but it looks like someone spent a bit of time putting it together. Who did it and why? This does not appear to have been just some amateur effort to start an urban legend and watch the fun.
Various reports say there is no such thing as the CWCSG, and as AmmoLand put it, “Gun owners should resist the urge to forward, and thereby propagate, these rumors before verifying their authenticity. As always, the truth should be our standard.”
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