House Democrats want to impose a significant tax on what they refer to as “assault weapons” as a new federal edict that drastically alters the definition of a gun dealer is imminent.
Fox News reports that on Friday, 25 House Democrats proposed a 1,000 percent excise tax on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
The bill was sponsored by Virginia Representative Don Beyer and twenty-four other Democrats. Republicans hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives.
Beyer proposed a similar measure last year that would have imposed a 1,000 percent excise tax on any semiautomatic weapon or component that could carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
His bill was introduced one day after more than one hundred Democrats of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force wrote House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to express their displeasure that no gun control legislation had been voted on during this session.
The New York Times reported that amid congressional wrangling, the Biden administration may issue a new rule to implement a provision of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act that was signed into law last year.
The provision would require those who profit from the sale of firearms to obtain a federal license and conduct background checks. In the current regulatory environment, only federally licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks, and a dealer is defined as a person who sells firearms for a living.
In March, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to expedite the implementation of the new provision.
According to The New York Times, the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are drafting a new rule, with completion anticipated by the end of 2024.
The Times said the new provision “could set a threshold number of transactions that would define a dealer; gun-control groups hope to see it at five sales a year or lower. The rules will be backed up by a renewed push to prosecute businesses that refuse to register, by accessing bank records, storage unit leases and other expenses associated with running an off-the-books gun business.”
All of this was enthusiastically supported by the gun control group Giffords, which was founded by former Arizona Democratic Representative Gabby Giffords and Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Every gun sale should require a background check. Thanks to @POTUS, we're almost there.
For years, we've pushed for the government to require more gun sellers to become licensed dealers and conduct background checks. ATF is expected to act any day now. https://t.co/0CbOu2tsyx
— GIFFORDS (@GIFFORDS_org) August 2, 2023
I’m hoping all new regulations will be issued & made effective soon by the Biden Administration under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) August 1, 2023
Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy wants a low threshold to target private traffickers.
“Everybody agrees those people should have to perform background checks,” he said, according to the Times.
Not quite. Gun Owners of America is ready to fight back when the rule drops.
“While Gun Owners of America fights for the Second Amendment in the courts, Congress must repeal the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—which was a compromise with the Biden Administration that Republicans NEVER should have struck,” the group said in a statement Tuesday.
“It has been completely weaponized, gun owners have gained nothing, and America is no safer. Cornyn-Murphy has got to go, and Republicans must expiate for this sin,” GOA said.
“Congress must also participate in the rulemaking process and voice its opposition to backdoor universal background registration checks during the public notice and comment period alongside GOA members,” the group said.
“After commenting during the proposed rule phase, Congress must also take up a joint resolution of disapproval pursuant to the Congressional Review Act and strike down this unconstitutional infringement,” it said.