Pointed gun barrel
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Probing the cost of a Biden gun tax

Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon explores the potential price tag of one of Joe Biden’s stated policy goals.

American gun owners could face tens of billions of dollars in new taxes to keep the guns they already own under Democrat Joe Biden’s gun ban and tax plan.

At least 20 million rifles and 150 million ammunition magazines would be caught up in the sales ban and registration scheme Biden touted on the campaign trail, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report. The new taxes would cost Americans more than $34 billion, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

NSSF told the Washington Free Beacon the sheer number of affected guns and magazines could pose a significant problem for Biden’s gun-control plans.

“I think if [Biden and his team] were smart, they would look at those numbers and get an idea of where America stands on gun ownership and gun rights,” NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva said.

Biden wants to ban new sales of AR-15 rifles and similar firearms as well as any ammunition magazine holding more than 10 rounds—sizes that come standard on most modern rifles and handguns. He would pay some owners to surrender the affected guns they legally own and force everyone else to register the guns under the National Firearms Act. The proposal would require owners to pay a $200 tax stamp for each item.

The report said the kinds of rifles Biden wants to ban made up nearly half of all rifles produced in 2018. Oliva said the group’s estimates may actually be undercounts. While NSSF used the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives manufacturer reports, those only cover up to 2018, and Oliva said AR-15s have continued to grow in popularity since then.

“That manufacturer’s report comes out [with] an 18 to 24-month delay,” Oliva said. “That number is probably significantly higher now.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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