Gavin Newsom Signs New Law, Putting the Squeeze on Gun Owners

On Tuesday, California's Governor Gavin Newsom enacted a legislation that raises the taxes on firearms and bullets, dedicating the additional funds to safety programs.

The U.S. federal government currently levies excise taxes on firearm and ammunition purchases at rates of either 10% or 11%. This recent legislation introduces an additional 11% excise tax, which means residents of the Golden State could end up paying up to a cumulative 22% in taxes.

Governor Newsom viewed this tax hike as a "pretty modest investment" towards curbing gun violence, expressing confidence that it will play a role in "reducing those costs ultimately."

Addressing the rampant gun violence, Newsom commented, "The carnage, it’s too much. We can’t normalize it, we can’t accept it." He further added, "This is a small price to pay."

California has become the sole U.S. state to implement a specific tax on firearm purchases. Alongside this, Governor Newsom introduced a new law on Tuesday prohibiting the carrying of guns in almost all public areas, marking a significant revision to the state's earlier concealed carry regulations.

The tax exemption is applicable to police officers and to businesses with sales not exceeding $5,000 in firearms or ammunition within a quarter. Anticipated annual revenue from this tax stands at $159 million, allocated to the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program and the State Department of Education.

The aforementioned grant program spearheads projects focusing on youth involved in gangs, offering them life-coaching assistance. Meanwhile, the State Department of Education will channel these funds to bolster school security measures and facilitate after-school activities for vulnerable students.

The president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), Chuck Michel, conveyed to the Associated Press his belief that both laws violate the constitution. The CRPA is gearing up to contest these laws in court.

"These laws will not make us safer," stated Michel. "They are an unconstitutional retaliatory and vindictive response to the Supreme Court’s affirmation that the Second Amendment protects an individuals’ right to choose to own a firearm for sport or to defend your family."

Michel, a staunch supporter of gun rights, further noted, "They are being challenged, and the moment they are enacted, the countdown begins towards a ruling that nullifies them."

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