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House Committee Head Wants To Tax Assault Weapon Maker Revenue

After a three-month investigation into the gun manufacturing industry in the wake of a string of mass shootings, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is introducing two pieces of legislation targeting the manufacturers of assault weapons, reports the Washington Post. The proposed legislation includes a bill that would impose a 20 percent tax on the total revenue earned by manufacturers of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and a bill that would require each firearm manufacturer to create and implement a system to track and analyze crimes committed with firearms they have sold.


The draft bills — the Firearm Industry Fairness Act and the Firearm Industry Crime and Trafficking Accountability Act — come after a report from the committee that found that five of the largest U.S. gun manufacturers did not track crimes associated with their products and that the industry earned more than $1 billion from the sales of AR-15-style weapons in the past decade. The Firearm Industry Fairness Act would mean that “the family hunting rifle is not taxed at the same rate as an assault weapon, and would ensure that the firearm industry, like other industries in America, takes responsibility for the safety and misuse of its products,” Maloney said. The federal excise tax imposed on the sale of certain firearms has not been updated since 1954 — “years before civilian automatic rifles were invented,” the legislation says. “Despite the continued killings of children, teachers, and families with these weapons, federal taxes on firearms fail to differentiate between hunting rifles and weapons of war like AR-15s.”

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