The recent violence is prompting one House Democrat to draft a measure aimed at severely restricting access to the AR-15-style weapons used by different gunmen in the carnage. Rep. Donald Beyer of Virginia, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means panel, wants to impose a 1,000% excise tax on assault weapons.
“What it’s intended to do is provide another creative pathway to actually make some sensible gun control happen,” Beyer told Insider. “We think that a 1,000% fee on assault weapons is just the kind of restrictive measure that creates enough fiscal impact to qualify for reconciliation.”
New AR-15-style guns range from $500 to over $2,000 depending on location, NBC News reported. That means a 1,000% tax on the weapon would add $5,000 to $20,000 to their final sales price — and would probably keep it out of reach from many younger Americans.
Some details of the bill still aren’t finalized, such as when the tax would kick in and what to do with any revenue raised. It’s also unclear how much money it would generate. One out of every five weapons purchased in the US in AR-15 style rifle, per the National Shooting Sports Foundation in a 2014 court brief. Gun sales have surged since then and reached their second-highest level recorded last year.
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