California Governor Gavin Newsom is doing his part to keep schools safe against gun violence. On Tuesday, Newsom signed a first-of-its-kind bill known as AB 28, which will double taxes on firearms and ammunition, The Hill confirms.
An 11 percent tax will be added to the federal taxes already on these products, which is typically 10 or 11 percent. This revenue, which is estimated to be approximately $160 million yearly, will go directly to school safety programs, such as those to prevent campus shootings and give more resources to investigators. The money will also go toward an initiative to remove weapons from documented domestic abusers. Despite the controversial move, Newsom says the measure is necessary.
The new action does come as a surprise to some, considering that Newsom has been opposed to raising taxes in the past. However, it seems his urge for stricter gun laws has trumped that. Newsom is one of the key figures pushing for national reform on guns, which will make it harder for dangerous people to obtain them. Newsom also has the research to back his AB 28 regulation. Studies have found that California is seeing a sharp decrease in firearm-related deaths. Per Newsom, the gun death rate is 43 percent lower than in other states.
Gun enthusiasts could challenge the laws in the near future. Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, called the changes unconstitutional and claims this will not do much to prevent mass shootings. – Steve Sijenyi