Governor Dannel Mallory is proposing an increase in gun taxes that would more than quadruple the rate of the five-year renewal fee for a gun owner’s permit to carry. This latest tax increase is being issued as a result of a $1.7 million budget deficit that has been growing out of control in recent years. The state is using gun owners money to cover their overspending and out of control government over reach.
This would increase the five-year renewal fee from $140 to $370 along with a $50 to $75 increase for the cost of background checks. This would make the gun ownership costs in Connecticut one of the highest in the country.
The tax is expected to generate revenue for the state upwards of $12 million; the question is, “will the cost reduce the number of permits renewed thereby defeating the purpose of the tax?” If the price to carry becomes too costly, the state will effectively be hindering their citizens right to carry by making it cost prohibitive for the hard working Americans who want to protect their families and exercise their second amendment rights.
Opponents of the proposed tax hike are stating that the tax is in effect making the right to defend oneself a privilege for the wealthy. There are many citizens in high crime neighborhoods who have the need to protect themselves but would not be able to afford the extremely high fees.
Connecticut liaison for the NRA Chris Kopacki was quoted saying, “Some of our state’s poorest residents, many of whom live in high-crime neighborhoods, may not be able to afford a firearm for self-protection under Malloy’s proposed fee hikes.” The feeling of the tax opponents was summed up best by the House Republican leader Themis Klarides who said: “To single out those people who work hard, pay their taxes and want to exercise their constitutional rights and protect their families is unfair.”
Will history repeat itself?
Connecticut has already enforced restrictions and regulations aimed at the gun industry and owners that not only cost the state a significant amount of well-paying jobs but also a large amount of revenue that would have gone a long way to alleviate some of the budget concerns.
In 2014 Connecticut passed some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, placing restrictions on gun magazines, requiring background checks, banning multiple types of guns, and adding new eligibility to gun ammunition sales.
Once the new laws came into effect, the state saw a loss of over 3,000 firearm related jobs even with the industry expanding throughout other parts of the U.S. With the loss of these jobs overall state wages dropped 36% which reduced state tax collections by 37%. In total, the state economy lost more than 700 million dollars as an effect of the added gun control restrictions.
Additionally, many of the gun manufacturers and retailers left the state of Connecticut due to the restrictive laws and reopened in other states. This caused a loss of 140 million dollars that would have ended up in state tax funds to help offset the deficit. So why does the state feel that imposing more tax will make them more money?
Firearm related companies in Connecticut still contribute an average of over $85 million in state taxes a year, but if sales decline due to an increase in taxes for permits, this number will also decline. Fewer sales mean less money for taxes and the increase may not be enough to offset the loss of those who will no longer renew their permits or the loss if companies decide to leave the state.
Is the tax just a way to push a gun control agenda?
So is the governor just unaware of the saying that history is bound to repeat itself, or is the new tax part of a gun control agenda to limit the second amendment rights of citizens who cannot afford the additional fees?
The new tax may be part of a larger plan to continue to impose more and more restrictions making gun ownership more difficult and less affordable for the masses. If restrictions and high taxes continue to be passed, the state of Connecticut will not only see a significant decrease in tax revenue but may face another round of fire arm companies vacating the state for greener pastures which will not only cost the additional state funds but jobs as well.
~ American Gun News