published : 2023-09-27

NRA Slams Governor Newsom's 'Sin Tax' on Gun Law Amidst Rising Crime

The National Rifle Association accuses Gov. Gavin Newsom of ignoring criminals and turning California into a hub of violence

A photo of a NRA representative holding a sign supporting the Second Amendment, taken with a Nikon D850.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has strongly criticized Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing new laws in California that will double the taxes on gun and ammunition sales and restrict the carrying of firearms in public places. NRA Western Regional Director Dan Reid called these actions a blatant attack on the rights of law-abiding Californians and a deliberate effort to dismantle the Second Amendment. According to Reid, Newsom's consistent focus on limiting constitutional rights while ignoring the activities of criminals is transforming California into a hotbed of violence and lawlessness.

Newsom signed several gun laws on Tuesday, including Assembly Bill 28, which imposes an additional 11% tax on all gun and ammunition purchases in the state, in addition to the federal government's existing 10% or 11% tax on gun purchases. During the signing ceremony in Sacramento, Newsom emphasized the urgency of addressing the prevailing carnage, arguing that it is unacceptable and cannot be normalized. He justified the tax increase as a small price to pay, referring to it as a 'sin tax.' California saw two devastating mass shootings earlier this year, resulting in the deaths of 18 individuals.

According to data from nonprofit CalMatters, violent crimes in California rose by 6.1% in 2022 compared to the previous year, while property crimes increased by 6.2%. Homicides saw a slight decrease, as per the report. Newsom believes that addressing this issue requires not just state-level measures but a national framework as well.

A photo of Governor Newsom addressing a crowd during the signing ceremony, taken with a Canon EOS R5.

By signing Assembly Bill 28, Newsom made California the first state to impose a special tax on gun purchases. The estimated annual revenue gained from this tax, which is projected to reach $159 million, will be allocated to the state's Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program and the State Department of Education.

When questioned about his support for a tax increase on guns and ammunition after previously rejecting tax increases, Newsom equated the legislation to a 'sin tax.' NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre responded by accusing Newsom of prejudice against legal firearm ownership. LaPierre views the tax as an attempt to penalize citizens for exercising their constitutional rights. The NRA has pledged to fight these restrictive laws and stands in opposition to Newsom's draconian initiatives.

In response to the NRA's criticism, Newsom's office directed attention to his statements on Tuesday, where he emphasized the need for accountability in the gun industry. He called for humility, grace, and accountability from those selling guns, as these products can be both tools for self-defense and weapons of war. Newsom views the tax increase as a means to fund mental health services and school safety programs, addressing the cause and effect relationship between gun sales and gun violence.

A photo of individuals peacefully protesting against the gun laws in California, holding signs advocating for their constitutional rights, taken with a Sony Alpha 7 III.

Aside from Assembly Bill 28, Newsom also signed Senate Bill 2, which imposes stricter restrictions on carrying firearms in public and on obtaining permits, and Senate Bill 452, which requires semi-automatic pistols to be equipped with microstamping technology. The latter technology enables the identification of unique marks on expended cartridges. It is worth noting that a federal judge in California previously ruled against the use of such technology.

As California takes these significant measures related to gun laws, it remains a topic of increasing national interest. Stay tuned for the latest updates on the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews, and more political content from Fox News.