A measure enacted into law on Tuesday by Governor Gavin Newsom will reportedly make California the first state in the country to impose an excise tax on gun and ammunition sales.
From July of next year, the state will levy an 11% tax on the retail sale of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.
The funds would go toward initiatives aimed at helping victims of gun violence as well as measures to improve school safety and prevent gun violence.
The tax bill’s Democratic sponsor, Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, recounted how his kids just participated in lockdown and active-shooter drills at school.
Sales made to police enforcement organizations and their current or previous officers won’t be subject to the levy.
To pay for law enforcement, the state currently levies a $37.19 fee on each firearm sale.
Federal excise taxes are already levied at 10% for pistols and 11% for long guns and ammunition on wholesale prices; these taxes support conservation and hunter education initiatives.
In addition, a few local governments, notably Cook County in Illinois, Seattle and Tacoma in Washington, levy excise taxes on the sale of firearms.
Following a Supreme Court decision that limited such restrictions last year, Newsom on Tuesday also signed a bill updating the state’s concealed-carry rules.
The state legislation lists numerous locations—including schools and hospitals—where hidden weapons are prohibited.
A third bill that would mandate microstamping on ammunition cartridges for semiautomatic guns sold in the state beginning in 2028 was also signed by him.
As the Democrat’s national prominence has grown over the past year, gun control has become one of his defining issues.
Newsom is working to change the U.S. constitution to raise the legal age to acquire a gun to 21, outlaw the sale of assault weapons, and enact widespread background checks for all gun purchases.
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