H.R. 5717 seeks to enact a 30% gun tax, 50% ammo tax, and assault weapon ban.
H.R. 5717 seeks to enact a 30% gun tax, 50% ammo tax, and assault weapon ban.

Representative Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, lobbed the first missile in the next battle to ban the AR-15. Only this time, the ineffective gun ban 2.0 is being accompanied by a proposed 30% firearm sales tax and 50%, yes, fifty percent, ammunition sales tax. Rep. Johnson on January 30th introduced the Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act alongside a slew of other prohibitions targeting the Second Amendment:

This bill makes various changes to the federal framework governing the sale, transfer, and possession of firearms and ammunition. Among other things, the bill does the following:

  • generally requires individuals to obtain a license to purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition;
  • raises the minimum age—from 18 years to 21 years—to purchase firearms and ammunition;
  • establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties;
  • requires law enforcement agencies to be notified following a firearms-related background check that results in a denial;
  • creates a statutory process for a family or household member to petition a court for an extreme risk protection order to remove firearms from an individual who poses a risk of committing violence;
  • restricts the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices;
  • restricts the manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, or receipt of ghost guns (i.e., guns without serial numbers);
  • makes trafficking in firearms a stand-alone criminal offense;
  • requires federally licensed gun dealers to submit and annually certify compliance with a security plan to detect and deter firearm theft;
  • removes limitations on the civil liability of gun manufacturers;
  • allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety standards for firearms and firearm components;
  • establishes a community violence intervention grant program; and
  • promotes research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention.

National licensing for ammunition, a federal ban on hundreds of semiautomatic weapons, a ban on magazines, a ban on gun-making kits, disbarment from the Second Amendment until you’re twenty-one, and a blanket ability by any person to cause authorities to seize your firearms without due process. Well done, Rep. Johnson. The Georgia Democrat, who called his legislation “new” and “innovative”, took various ideas already presented by his 116th Congressional counterparts and compiled them into one massive gun grab blitz.

As the House quietly chugs along with anti-gun legislation, the nation reels from the Coronavirus and the business closures and lockdowns that accompany it. H.R. 5717 then rests among other anti-gun moves by so many lawmakers and officials. Senate Democrats are again pushing to ban firearm kits and receiver blanks. This legislation seeks to require that all firearms in the United States have a unique serial number engraved by 2022, while also requiring non-FFL firearm parts dealer to be governed by the same rules the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms applies to FFLs. The bill would force the ATF to redefine what a firearm is, broadening the definition to include non-firearm components. This disruption to the gun parts and accessories market would put hundreds of small companies that cannot afford the expensive licensing and legal requirements out of business.

But with gun sales exploding across the country in the wake of Coronavirus and government overreach sparking concerns about access to the Second Amendment (Senate Democrats also asked the FBI and ATF to halt pending gun sales) it’s little surprise House Democrats wants to bring to the public’s attention as many political issues as possible. Americans are exercising their rights now more than ever, and anti-gun advocates can now combine that data with the fear brought by Coronavirus to advocate falsely for safety in exchange for liberty. If Coronavirus is a litmus test for the limitations of the government’s ability to proxy-prohibit Constitutional rights, it may not be looking so good for gun grabbers: A federal judge ruled against Massachusetts’ non-essential business lockdown that specifically targeted gun stores, issuing a temporary injunction against state officials’ orders and allowing gun stores to reopen to long lines.

H.R. 5717 is yet another stone cast on the Second Amendment’s scale. It’s an incremental but dangerous weight which tries to tip the balance of power in favor of the government. No law-abiding American citizen of eight years of age who may serve his or her country should be disbarred from their right to keep and bear arms when they’re not in uniform. It is an irony that any American lawmaker would introduce legal words to promote such an idea in the first place. Contact your representatives and tell them to vote against H.R. 5717. You can easily call, email, or mail your representative by finding them here.