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Virginia Congressman Proposes 1000% Tax on Manufacturers, Importers, and Producers of Assault Weapons

‘It's designed to bypass the filibuster and win Senate passage with 50 votes,’ said Representative Don Breyer

A group of Democrats in the United States House of Representatives are backing a proposed 1000% tax on assault weapons.

Virginia Congressman Don Breyer invoked recent mass shootings in Texas, New York, and Oklahoma while introducing the Assault Weapons Excise Act.

“Congress must take action to stem the flood of weapons of war into American communities,” the Democrat said in a statement on June 14. “Again and again assault weapons designed for use on the battlefield have been used in mass shootings at schools, grocery stores, hospitals, churches, synagogues, malls, theaters, bars, and so on. As the response in Uvalde shows, even law enforcement feel outgunned.”

“My bill would impose a 1000% excise tax on the manufacturer, importer, or producer of assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” Breyer added on Twitter. “It’s designed to bypass the filibuster and win Senate passage with 50 votes.”

As a proposed tax measure, the policy could be subject to the reconciliation process and would only need 50 votes in the Senate to pass. Legislation typically needs the support of 60 senators to avoid a filibuster.

The tax would apply to military-style “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines – those able to carry 10 rounds or more. Additionally, “any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm but not convert the semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun” is subject to the tax.

A spokesperson for Breyer told Newsweek that the congressman has not discussed the bill’s chances of passing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“The cost of those weapons typically range between $500 and $2,000, depending on location and other variables. That means the plan would add $5,000 and $20,000 to the final price tag,” reports Business Insider.

The policy would not apply to ammunition and also allows for exemptions for local, state, and federal governments including police forces and law enforcement. It would also not be retroactively applied to guns that have already been purchased.

In total, 36 Democrats joined Breyer in support of the measure.

“Depending on the firearm, they are taxed at a rate of 10 to 11 percent, while ammunition is taxed at 11 percent; the National Firearms Act of 1934 also levied a $200 tax on the transfer of a narrower class of guns, and that has also never been adjusted,” notes The Washington Post.

Breyer, a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, told Business Insider in early June that the 1000% tax was “the kind of restrictive measure that creates enough fiscal impact to qualify for reconciliation.”

“What it’s intended to do is provide another creative pathway to actually make some sensible gun control happen,” Beyer said.

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