Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located, is considering a “violence tax” on guns and ammunition. They say it’s about curbing crime, and there’s no doubt that Chicago’s violent crime rate is completely out of control. But this plan doesn’t make any sense. Will a tax affect owners of illegal guns? Will it prevent serious criminals from procuring weapons? Are gang members going to be deterred by a tax? And does anyone seriously think that the major gun crime problem in Chicago is down to law-abiding gun owners?
The main impact will probably be on poorer gun owners who live in higher crime areas and want to keep a gun at home in order to protect their families. These are good guys, people who are working hard to provide the best for their children, but who don’t have a lot of extra cash. Why on earth would Cook County want to penalize them?!
You can’t tax people out of criminal activity, but you can create tax structures that make life more difficult for those who play by the rules. And if Cook County cares about law and order, those are the last people they should be hitting with this kind of punitive tax.