The new gun tax falls the California week following the San Jose mass shooting – CBS Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP / CBS13) – A week after nine people were killed in a mass shooting in San Jose, the Californian convention on Thursday failed to pass a law increasing taxes on small arms and ammunition.

The bill by MP Marc Levine, a Democrat from San Rafael, would have imposed a 10% tax on the sales price of small arms and an 11% tax on the sales of rifles, precursor parts and ammunition.

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The tax would apply to retailers, not consumers. However, a legal analysis of the bill found that retailers could have passed these costs on to buyers. The Assembly’s Budgets Committee estimated it would have generated $ 118 million a year, with the money being used for gun violence prevention programs and research.

The majority of the 80 members of the assembly voted in favor of the bill. But because the bill would create a new tax, it needed a two-thirds majority. The bill missed the 54 votes required for passage by five votes. Democrats control 59 votes. But some Democrats come from more moderate districts, making a gun tax hike a difficult choice for them.

The mass shootings occurred at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority train station in San Jose. Rep. Alex Lee, a Democrat from San Jose, read the names of each victim in plenary as he urged his colleagues to support the law.

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“We continue to see the headlines of another mass shooting in our nation almost every week. And to be honest, I’m sick of it, ”he said.

In a letter to lawmakers, the pro-arms group Gun Owners of California wrote that the bill was not fair because it wanted to “punish the legal for the wrongdoing of the illegal.”

Levine, the author of the bill, said its aim was in part to respond to the surge in gun sales and gun violence since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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California already charges a $ 37.19 gun sales fee that includes a background check fee.

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