(Editor Note: Scroll to the bottom for a debate challenge issued to Rep. Jillian Gilchrest, which would be hosted on Law Enforcement Today.)
It’s days like this that, as a Connecticut resident, I just apologize to my fellow Americans and ask them to forgive me for my state.
On Monday, a Democrat from Connecticut introduced a bill that would raise the tax on ammunition in the state by 50 percent.
Then Rep. Jillian Gilchrest, a freshman legislator from Hartford, took to Twitter to announce that a companion bill was being introduced in the state Senate by fellow freshman Democrat Will Haskell. Haskell became the state’s youngest-ever elected legislator last year at 22-years-old.
Here’s where it gets good.
“Currently, ammunition is taxed at the same rate as other products, but we want to increase it by 50 percent, because we see it as a prevention measure,” Gilchrest says in the video. “For example, if someone were to buy a 50 cartridge box of ammunition, which goes for about $10, it would increase the price to $15.”
I’ve introduced HB 5700, a 50% tax increase on ammunition. It doesn’t apply to military or law enforcement. I’m hearing push back about the need to protect one's home… but how much ammunition does someone really need to do that? #gunsense #enough pic.twitter.com/NZjkWBrpjC
— Jillian Gilchrest (@Jilchrest) February 4, 2019
Great. Democrats who can’t even do basic math are now crafting gun legislation. What could possibly go wrong?
I’m sure they didn’t teach this in Common Core, but try and follow me for a second, Gilchrest.
If a box of ammunition is $10, and CT sales tax is 6.35%, then the total cost of a box of ammo is $10.64. Increasing the tax by 50 percent would raise the tax to 9.525%, meaning that same box of ammo would now cost $10.95 cents.
The failed math Gilchrest is talking about in the video, of course, would be a 50% tax on the product itself.
This is why we can’t have nice things, folks.
Now a 50% tax on ammo would arguably be unconstitutional. But what does a 22-year-old Democrat from Connecticut care about that minor little detail, right?
So perhaps let’s take a ride on the logic train and see where it takes us, shall we?
First, Gilchrest goes on to state that military and law enforcement members will be exempted from the tax. Or would they? She once again says one thing… but the facts indicate otherwise.
Here’s a draft of the bill. Shocker – no exemption.
“We see this as a public health measure, similar to what we’ve done in the state of Connecticut with increasing the tax on cigarettes,” Gilchrest said. “When we increase that tax, we’ve seen a reduction in use.”
Yes, Gilly. Because shooting at the range is going to give second hand gun smoke cancer to everyone around me.
What exactly is it that makes this a “public health measure”? Discriminating against lower income families from being able to afford to arm, train and protect themselves? It seems to me that a better trained individual is a safer one. But of course Gilchrest doesn’t believe in training, as she fails to understand the basic concept of the Second Amendment.
In the caption of her post, Gilchrest wrote: “I’m hearing push back about the need to protect one’s home… but how much ammunition does someone really need to do that?”
There was a similar proposal last year in Illinois (a state known for its gun violence), that elicited a response from Adam Michel, a policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation. He wrote that high ammo taxes wouldn’t just encroach on the Second Amendment, it would create a dangerous black market.
When are these people going to get it? Bad guys don’t care about the law.
Do you REALLY think that increasing the tax by (insert poorly calculated number here) is going to make a guy planning on killing someone stop and say, “well gee – an extra four bucks to off that dude? I’d better drop the gun and go to church.”
Even the leftist court in Washington gets it. In 2017, Seattle increased taxes by $25 per firearm and $.04 per round of ammunition. But at least they tried to fool people by saying it was about raising money.
The Washington Supreme Court upheld the tax, with the court majority saying it was acceptable because the goal was to raise money, not discourage people from buying guns and ammo.
The NRA of course weighed in with a statement today.
“This dreadful legislation punishes law-abiding citizens and makes it harder to learn how to safely use firearms,” the NRA said statement posted to Twitter.
Gilchrest took to Twitter in response.
“Every day, hundreds of Americans are killed with guns. @NRA, I’m interested in preventing gun violence. If increasing the tax on ammunition can prevent just one death, it’s worth it.”
Ok, Gilchrest, but one could also argue that your legislation won’t PREVENT one death, but rather cause many. What do you say to that? What do you say to the fact that of those “hundreds of deaths”, the overwhelming majority are either from suicide, from illegally acquired guns and ammunition or from legally abiding citizens stopping bad guys?
I know, I know. Those damn pesky facts keep coming back like acid reflux, right?
Let’s continue though, shall we?
What happens when people aren’t properly trained and end up accidentally killing someone because they shot at a bad guy who was attacking them and the stray bullet took out a stranger?
What happens when the single mom of three is raped or killed because she had to choose between groceries for her kids and ammo in the home?
You can’t quantify your argument, because it’s based on feelings and not facts. It’s more knee-jerk legislation based on a Utopia that doesn’t exist.
But unlike the party you proudly represent, I believe in civil discourse, Gilchrest. So here’s what I’d like to offer. Come debate me on a live feed on Law Enforcement Today. We’ll bring on a third party moderator. And if you can create a convincing and compelling argument based on facts and not feelings that this is a proposal worth considering and not just a desperate attempt at relevancy by a couple of junior reps, I’ll be happy to stand behind your bill.
The ball is in your court.
I’ll even clean up all of the loose ammo sitting around our studio.
I can be reached at [email protected]. Let’s do this.