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Gun Rights Group Plans to Challenge California’s 11-Percent Tax on Guns and Ammo

Gun Rights Group Plans to Challenge California’s 11-Percent Tax on Guns and Ammo

A California-legal AR-15 style rifle is displayed for sale at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Calif., on June 5, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin

6/14/2024

Updated: 6/14/2024

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The Orange County-based California Rifle and Pistol Association plans to challenge California’s 11-percent excise tax on guns and ammunition set to take effect July 1.
The 150-year-old organization announced its decision May 31 on its website along with a notice that it’s seeking plaintiffs to join the lawsuit.
“CRPA and our strategic partners are well aware of this new tax and are working to put together a plan to challenge it in court,” the association wrote to its tens of thousands of members in a blog post.
“We recognize that this new tax, which will be collected from consumers through firearm and ammunition retailers, represents a substantial financial burden on law-abiding gun owners.”
California lawmakers passed the excise tax—the first of its kind in the nation—last year, despite bipartisan opposition.
Assembly Bill 28—the Gun Violence Prevention and Schools Act—needed a two-thirds margin of approval in the Legislature and barely passed with one vote. State Sen. Tom Umberg provided the vote needed to approve the measure in the Senate Sept. 7, 2023.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill about two weeks later.
The excise tax will add 11 percent to the price of firearms and ammunition in the state, adding to existing federal and state charges.
California already charges fees of $31 on gun sales to cover background checks.
The United States began taxing guns and ammunition over 100 years ago and now charges 10 percent on the wholesale price of handguns. On top of that, the federal government adds an 11 percent tax on long guns and ammunition to pay for wildlife restoration projects.
The state’s tax and fee department estimates the new tax will generate $159 million from July 2024 to July 2025.
The law will also establish a fund to pay for school safety and gun-violence reduction programs, counseling and support programs for victims, firearm violence research, and a court-based program to seize firearms from subjects named in domestic violence protective orders.
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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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