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Jesse Gabriel
Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Bill To Add 11% Tax On Firearms & Ammunition Passes In Assembly

If passed, AB 28 would help fund school safety programs

By Evan Symon, May 25, 2023 6:36 pm

A bill to add an 11% tax on firearms and ammunition in order to fund school safety measures and violence prevention programs was passed in the Assembly on Wednesday with the required 2/3rd votes.

Assembly Bill 28, authored by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), would impose an excise tax in the amount of 11% of the gross receipts from the retail sale in this state of a firearm, firearm precursor part, and ammunition beginning on July 1, 2024. The bill, also known as the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Act, would then send all collected revenues to the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Fund, which would be set up in the California Treasury. From there, funds would then be divested to fund various gun violence prevention, education, research, response, and investigation programs.

Overall, the tax under AB 28 would bring in an estimated $160 million a year. Programs that would be funded by the tax specifically named by Assemblyman Gabriel would include the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program,  school mental health services and safety measures, firearm investigation and clearance rate initiatives, firearm relinquishment programs for domestic abusers and other prohibited persons, trauma-informed services for victims of gun violence, and firearm safety education.

Since AB 28 is a tax increase, the bill will need to be approved by a 2/3rds majority in both houses, rather than a simple majority required of most bills.

Assemblyman Gabriel authored the bill earlier this year largely to help improve safety in schools and the improve firearm safety in California by having firearms owners and buyers foot the bill.

While Gabriel specifically has noted “record profit” by gun and ammunition manufacturers while many high profile shooting incidents like Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay have taken place in California, the bill will not go after those behind the mass shootings, and instead go after legal gun owners and buyers in California, many of whom are protecting themselves from such incidents.

Since this bill was introduced, the United States has experienced hundreds of mass shootings, including horrific incidents in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay,” Gabriel’s fact sheet on AB 28 says. “The surge in gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021, with more than 43 million guns estimated to have been purchased. At the same time, gun manufacturers have recorded record-breaking profits, noting that the growth they have experienced in recent years has been “nothing short of remarkable.” A 2022 report documented a 269% increase in the firearm and ammunition industry’s estimated economic impact from 2008 to 2021 and an 11% increase from 2020 to 2021 alone.”

AB 28 Passes in the Assembly

Following the bill’s passage in the Assembly on Thursday, Assemblyman Gabriel said, “It’s shameful that gun manufacturers are reaping record profits at the same time that gun violence has become the leading cause of death for kids in the United States. This bill will fund critical school safety measures and proven violence prevention programs that will save lives and protect communities across California.”

In a follow-up tweet, he also said “It’s shameful that gun manufacturers are reaping record profits while guns are the leading cause of death for kids in the US. That’s why I’m proud that we passed AB 28, which would impose a modest tax on gun manufacturers to fund critical gun violence and school safety programs.”

Opponents to the bill vowed that they would continue their challenge, as the parameters could bring many to try and buy ammunition from out of state, despite it being illegal to do so.

“This bill is just going to push many to find alternates to buying in-state,” explained Nathan Hollier, a lawyer in California who has represented many gun owners in the past, to the Globe on Thursday. “We’ve seen it when things like this were attempted in other states. At the very least, that 11% will drive enough people to find a way out of it that the bill won’t reach their estimates on tax revenue.”

“This is a bill that has good intentions, but will likely cause more problems than it is worth. I mean, look at what happened with the high taxes on marijuana in the state. The black market is now thriving as a result, with the legal market falling apart. A lot of people will still pay this tax of course, but it will just help enlargen the black market or have more people just buy ammo in other states and bring it back. There were many options to set up safety programs, and Gabriel chose the worst one. Proposing this? Well, it could of fooled me that he went to Harvard.”

AB 28 is due to next be heard in the Senate in the coming weeks.

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11 thoughts on “Bill To Add 11% Tax On Firearms & Ammunition Passes In Assembly

  1. Someone needs to tell Senator Gabriel that the reason firearms purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021 was because of all the rioting in this state. The rioting that occurred because because leftist puke Democrat mayors and Governor Climate Change let cities in this state burn to the ground by the “peaceful protestors”. I know people who bought some of those 43 millions firearms and many were first time gun owners. Some of them USED TO SUPPORT GUN CONTROL. The crime problem in this state is because we have leftist Democratic pukes like Senator Gabriel and Governor Climate Change who never met a felon they did not like. Ammunition in this state is already too expensive because of the over 800 gun control laws California has on the books that do nothing but harass law abiding gun owners.

  2. Ammunition tax is a function of how much is purchased. You are taxing sportsmen and target shooters, and letting the criminals walk free.

    1. Wish I had the cash to invest in a retail ammunition business in Yuma. Or Reno. Talk about a bit of statist tyranny that will be easy to ignore.

      1. If you’re talking about being a California resident and importing ammunition into the state, don’t. If caught and convicted there’s a possibility you could become a prohibited person. For the rest of your life.

        However, if you’re an L.A. gangbanger and have a brother in Las Vegas, he can bring ammunition in by the truckload and ‘give’ it to you. As long as no money changes hands that’s perfectly legal.

        These two anecdotal examples were told to me by Sam Paredes of Gun Owners of California.

        The California politicians only want to punish law abiding residents of California in their quest to disarm the good guys in an attempt to look like they’re ‘doing something’ to ‘save lives’.

  3. Are Democrat Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel’s constituents in Woodland Hills demanding that taxes be increased on firearms and ammunition sales? Probably not? No doubt he’s receiving incentives from somewhere to push this legislation? Maybe it’s one or more of the WEF globalists like Bloomberg or Soros who are behind this?

  4. So does this tax apply to ghost guns and stolen guns?
    Will this encourage more lowlifes to steal guns and buy black market guns?

    Taxing law abiding citizens will do nothing to stop mass shootings. Again, it is a cultural decline issue and a mental health issue.
    This guy is just looking for revenue and to make it unaffordable for law abiding citizens!!
    He gets a twofer.

  5. the gangs and cartels will not like this piece of legislation, so they will have to steal to replenish their weapons and ammo and it will just add to the state laws, passed by demo-rats, encouraging more and more crime.

  6. Well of course they are going to try and sock it to the lawful gun owners who have nothing to do with gun violence in the state while the people who actually engage in gun violence get off Scott free. GOP legislatures have tried to pass laws to hold criminals accountable for using guns in the commission of a crime and yet they are repeatedly slapped down by Democrats with the excuse that such laws are “racist”. As the article points out, lawful gun owners will just stock up by buying their ammunition in Nevada and Arizona.

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