BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Wednesdayâ€™s partial retreat by Cook County, Ill., board President Toni Preckwinkle on her proposed â€œviolence taxâ€ is a good start, but the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said the entire idea should be scrapped.
CCRKBA panned the proposal more than a week ago, when Preckwinkle announced she was mulling a 5-cent tax on every cartridge and a $25 tax on firearms to help close a budget gap. Today she backed off on the â€œbullet taxâ€ but still wants the tax on firearms adopted.
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb today was delighted with the partial victory, but said a â€œfull retreat from this proposed gun ownership penalty is necessary.â€
â€œGun owners have won a partial victory,â€ Gottlieb observed, â€œbut Preckwinkle is still trying to make them shoulder more than their fair share with this tax proposal. Face it, illegally-armed criminals are not going to pay any tax, so waging class warfare against legal firearms owners is way off target, and we brought attention to it.
â€œBesides,â€ he continued, â€œitâ€™s not gun owners but government that got Cook County into the budget mess. How does a county government come up short by an estimated $3 billion, anyway?
â€œExperienced shooters and hunters know enough to conserve their ammunition,â€ Gottlieb said. â€œPublic officials like Preckwinkle should take a lesson from that when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. Instead, she wants to just dig deeper in everyoneâ€™s pockets, whether they are gun owners, smokers or gamblers.â€
Newspaper reports said the county budget could run in the red next year because of the costs of public health clinics, two hospitals and the criminal justice system.
â€œWhat Preckwinkle wants is to penalize gun owners for exercising a constitutionally-protected civil right,â€ Gottlieb stated. â€œThe penalty should be on Preckwinkle and her political allies for spending the county that far into the red.
â€œThis proposal smacks of the same social bigotry that produced poll taxes on minority voters in the South,â€ he concluded. â€œPreckwinkle should know you canâ€™t tax the exercise of a civil right.â€