Americans Brace for Possible Gun Tax Increase

( – Firearm and ammunition purchases in Colorado may soon come with a higher tax as Democrat lawmakers push through a bill to add the issue onto the ballot for a public vote this November.

On Monday, April 1, the Colorado House Finance Committee passed House Bill 24-1349 in a vote of 6-5 to put the issue of increasing taxes on guns and ammo on the November election ballot. The bill will now make its way to the Appropriations Committee.

The bill would add a question to the November ballot asking voters if they are in favor of a 9% tax on guns and ammunition, initially proposed as 11% before negotiations on the bill. Its primary sponsor is House Majority Leader Monica Duran, Democratic representative for Colorado’s 23rd District.

According to Duran, the purpose of the bill would be to raise funds for state programs. Those programs include a fund for crime victim services; local judicial districts and law enforcement; victims and witness assistance programs; and programs for mass tragedy prevention and response, among other tax-funded services.

Duran said that “the need” for service for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes “across the board” is “not going down,” as well as the need for mental health and school safety services. She said that “if anything,” the need is “increasing.” Duran said the goal of the bill is to make sure these programs receive the necessary funding every year, and she believes voters would be “happy to pay a little extra” for guns and ammo if they know the extra taxes are going directly to “crimes victims, school safety, and mental health.”

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, an advocacy group for gun rights, opposed the bill and testified before the House Finance Committee. The group’s director of operations, Ian Escalante, called the tax increase proposal “absolutely insane.”

Escalante also called out State Rep. Marc Synder for providing the single vote needed to move the proposal forward, accusing him of caving “to his masters” to “screw over gun owners” and making firearms “unaffordable” for more Americans.

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