House Democrat proposes 1,000% tax on AR-15-style weapons

A Democratic lawmaker is proposing a 1,000% tax on AR-15-style weapons.
A Democratic lawmaker is proposing a 1,000% tax on AR-15-style weapons.(docmonstereyes / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray News) - A Democratic lawmaker is looking to place a heavy tax on AR-15-style rifles and other semi-automatic weapons.

Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia is planning to introduce a bill that would implement a 1,000% tax on the weapons in an effort to provide an option besides a proposed ban on the weapons for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to consider.

The tax would mean an AR-15-style rifle valued at $900 would cost $9,000 after the federal taxes are applied.

Beyer is proposing this alternative because the Constitution allows for Congress to place a tax on firearms.

The Virginia lawmaker expects to have several cosponsors of the bill from within the House Democratic Caucus.

The draft legislation is designed to withstand a potential “Byrd Rule” challenge in the Senate if passed by the House, which would mean the bill could pass with a simple majority. This could allow the Democratically-controlled chambers to pass the legislation without Republican support.

Many Republicans continued to voice opposition to gun control measures on Wednesday.

“I strongly believe that there is an important place for law-abiding gun owners to serve in protecting themselves, their families and their communities from violence,” Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said during a House hearing on gun violence. “Our Second Amendment is an important tool in securing our individual rights to self-defense. Knee-jerk reactions to impose gun control policies that seek to curtail our Constitutional right to bear arms is not the answer.”

House Democrats are also working to pass legislation to raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of higher-capacity ammunition magazines, but it is unlikely to pass the Senate.

Senate Republicans are negotiating with Democrats to find common ground on some reforms, including improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks.

Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.