In the wake of a string of mass shootings over the past month, Democrats have proposed a number of new gun control measures that they argue will mitigate the number of incidents like the tragedies that played out in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
According to Fox Business, Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA) made headlines over the weekend after proposing a 1,000% excise tax that would apply to certain firearms, namely AR-15-style rifles, labeled by some as “assault weapons.”
While critics argued that such a high tax rate isn’t reasonable, Beyer argued that his approach to the issue is a “sensible” measure that could help cut down on the number of mass shootings that occur in America.
“There’s nothing magical about that thousand percent number,” Beyer said. “It’s severe enough to actually inhibit and restrict sales. But also successful enough that it’s not seen as an absolute ban.”
“What it’s intended to do is provide another creative pathway to actually make some sensible gun control happen,” the Virginia lawmaker said.
What’s more, Beyer argued that the bill should be passed through the reconciliation process, claiming that it creates enough of a “fiscal impact” to qualify for such a vote, which would significantly increase its chances of passing through Congress.
If the bill — which hasn’t been finalized — were to pass the House, it would only require a simple majority of 51 votes to pass through the Senate if it meets the requirements of being voted through by the reconciliation process.
“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,” Beyer said.
Scooplet: @RepDonBeyer (tax-writing Dem on Ways amd Means) is drafting a bill to impose a 1000% excise tax on the AR-15 style weapons at the center of the recent carnage in Texas, NY, and Oklahoma.
The measure is meant to bypass the GOP in reconciliationhttps://t.co/VwM6VNRCm9
— Joseph Zeballos-Roig (@josephzeballos) June 5, 2022
As Fox Business noted, the price of a new AR-15-style rifle ranges from $500 – $2,000, meaning Beyer’s 1,000% tax proposal would take the final price at checkout into the realm of $5,000 – $20,000 per rifle, making it virtually unobtainable for the average American gun owner.
Democrats, including the White House, have proposed several gun control measures in the wake of the mass shootings, including stricter background checks, repealing immunity of gun manufacturers, enhanced red flag laws, bans on certain firearms and high-capacity magazines, Axios reported.
Republicans have also proposed a number of measures to cut down on instances of mass shootings, especially school shootings, by calling for increased security measures and the “hardening” of schools, and greater access to mental health services.