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Virginia Dem Introduces Bill To Hit Gun Buyers Where It Hurts

Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer introduced a bill Tuesday that would levy a 1,000% tax on select semi-automatic rifles and certain ammunition magazines in response to recent mass shootings.

The proposed legislation is intended to limit the number of weapons present in American communities, including AR-15s and high-capacity magazines, Breyer said when he announced the proposal earlier this month. The bill also applies to large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

“The legislation … would impose a 1000% excise tax on the manufacturer, importer, or producer of items defined as ‘assault weapons’ using terms similar to those in Congressman Cicilline’s Assault Weapons Ban Act,” Beyer’s press secretary Aaron Fritschner told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The bill does contain exceptions for purchases by government entities such as federal, state and local law enforcement along with the U.S. military.”

Beyer’s bill is a revenue measure, meaning it begins its legislative process in the House of Representatives and can pass in the Senate with only a simple majority vote instead of the 60 votes needed to pass most legislation.

“If the Senate is able to agree on the legislative package currently under discussion, which would be a very positive development, my bill would give the Senate an option for further action to address the epidemic of gun violence,” Beyer said in a statement.

The bill aims to prevent the buying of guns without formally making the included firearms illegal, according to Fritschner. Due to the bill’s nature, specifically that it does not outright outlaw the purchase of firearms, Beyer intends for the bill to pass in the Senate without GOP support using the budget reconciliation process.

A new Ar-15 rifle ranges in price from roughly $500 to over $2,000, according to NBC News. According to a 2021 National Firearms Survey, 32% of American citizens are gun owners, with the most prevalent motivation for gun ownership nationwide being for purely self-defense reasons.

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