Connecticut State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest (D-13th) has proposed a 50 percent tax on firearms ammunition which has caught the attention of the National Rifle Association.
“This dreadful legislation punishes law-abiding citizens and makes it harder to learn how to safely use firearms,” the NRA wrote in a tweet Tuesday morning.
The only concession that Gilchrest is willing to make is exempting police and military personnel from the impost, but homeowners who purchase ammo to protect their families, hunters and gun enthusiasts get no such break.
In a video posted to her Twitter page, Gilchrest, who is serving her first term in the General Assembly, described the tax as a “prevention measure.” Ammunition in Connecticut is currently taxed at the normal sales tax rate of 6.35 percent.
Gilchrest equated taxes on ammunition with taxes on cigarettes, claiming both are examples of a “public health measure”.
“We see this as a public health measure similar to what we’ve done in the state of Connecticut with increasing the tax on cigarettes,” Gilchrest said. “When we increase that tax we’ve seen a reduction in use. And so we want to continue Connecticut’s legacy of being a leader on preventing and addressing gun violence and we see this as another step forward in that direction.”
I’ve introduced HB 5700, a 50% tax increase on ammunition. It doesn’t apply to military or law enforcement. I’m hearing push back about the need to protect one's home… but how much ammunition does someone really need to do that? #gunsense #enough pic.twitter.com/NZjkWBrpjC
— Jillian Gilchrest (@Jilchrest) February 4, 2019
Gilchrest’s bill was referred to the legislature’s finance committee. Sen. Will Haskell, D-Westport, joined her in introducing the measure. It has not been scheduled for a public hearing.
Democrats in Congress introduced a bill last year following the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. that would impose a 50 percent federal tax on ammunition.