The Second Amendment
The Constitutional Gun Rights of American citizens, enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, have been losing ground since the Revenue Act of 1918 imposed a 10 percent tax on the sale of firearms. In 1934, the National Firearms Act imposed a flat $200 tax on the transfer of new categories of firearms like short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, machine guns, and silencers/sound suppressors. In 1937, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (often called the Pittman-Robertson Act) increased the tax on ammunition and rifles to 11%. Now, some cities like Seattle, WA have implemented a $25 tax on every firearm sold and up to a 5-cent tax on every round of ammunition sold. Territories like the Northern Mariana Islands implemented a $1,000 tax on the sale of every handgun in 2016 when their outright ban was struck down by the courts.
So the question needs to be asked, “How can a Constitutional right be taxed?” If it can be taxed then it is no longer an inalienable right but only a privilege to be enjoyed only by those who can afford to pay the tax. In 1819, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court stated that the "power to tax includes the power to destroy." So, If the Second Amendment can be legally taxed, then it can be taxed out of existence by raising the tax so high that no average citizen can afford it. This would effectively eliminate the right to keep and bear arms.
The Foundation for Victory:
In 1966, in Harper v. VA Board of Elections, the U.S. Supreme Court declared poll taxes to be unconstitutional and thereby set the stage that no individual constitutional right could be taxed. In 2008, ninety years after the first taxation of firearms, the U.S. Supreme Court through the DC v. Heller landmark decision, declared the Second Amendment to be an individual constitutional right. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court through the McDonald v. Chicago decision found that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms," as protected by the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment and is therefore enforceable against every State.
In 2016 The United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands in Murphy v. Guerrero struck down the Mariana Islands' $1,000 tax on handguns as unconstitutional stating that “The Second Amendment protects the right to armed self-defense, which includes the right to acquire such arms……The reason is simple: without the arms, the right would be useless….The principle that a court must protect constitutional rights from extinction by means both direct and indirect has a significant pedigree with the Supreme Court.”
1) Repeal the excise tax on firearms and ammunition.
2) Repeal the National Firearms Act excise tax on firearms
3) Pass the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) and deregulate/remove sound suppressors/silencers from the National Firearms Act. Deregulate short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns by adding them to the HPA as well.
4) Remove the “Sporting Purposes” test which is currently used to determine the legality of various types of firearms and ammunition. There is NO sporting purposes test in the 2nd Amendment, so why is there one in Federal law? It is an infringement on the “right to keep and bear arms”.
5). Fix the Brady Background System Check problem by eliminating it! The government’s response to the pandemic proved again that the FBI cannot be trusted to properly implement the background check law. The mandatory 3-day safety valve on background checks was completely ignored and many checks were extended beyond a month thereby invalidating the background check and making the person start over. This blatant violation by the FBI completely denied law-abiding citizens their 2A constitutional rights during a national crisis. This is a terrible and dangerous precedent that can only be addressed by complete elimination of the Brady Background check system.
6). Remove the interstate ban on purchasing a handgun. If I can purchase a rifle or shotgun in any state of the union, then why can I not purchase a handgun in any state? This is another chink made in the armor of our “right to keep and bear arms”, just another infringement, and must be repaired by deregulating/eliminating the restrictions on the interstate purchase of handguns.
So, we have a lot of ground to recover, ground that has been lost to gun-grabbing, liberal politicians who have no respect for our God-given, inalienable, constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I will NOT give an inch on the Second Amendment, and I will be the point of the spear in taking back what we have lost and help to ensure we never lose it again.