On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law adding an 11% state tax to firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition. The proceeds, reports the WSJ, will be used to fund security in public schools and violence prevention programs.
The move made California the first state in the country to levy an excise tax on guns and ammunition. The federal government currently imposes a 10 percent tax on wholesale prices for handguns and an 11 percent tax on long guns and ammunition.
Gov. Newsom also signed a measure limiting where people can carry concealed firearms.
Though California already has some of the most stringent gun regulations in the nation, the tax measure was one of the most contentious in the final days of the Democratic-controlled state legislature’s 2023 session, which ended Sept. 14.
Because it is a tax increase, the bill required a two-thirds majority in both chambers to pass. It received just barely that amount in both chambers, with no Republicans voting in favor and a few Democrats from rural districts opposing it or not voting.
Governor Newsom has made gun control a signature issue as he has built more of a national profile in the past year, observes the WSJ.
(Newsom) is pursuing an amendment to the U.S. constitution that would raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21, ban the sale of guns classified as assault weapons, and institute universal background checks to purchase a firearm.
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