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House Democrat introduces bill to impose 1,000% tax on AR-15s, ‘assault weapons’

AR-15. (Michael Guio/Flickr)
June 16, 2022

A U.S. House Democrat introduced a new bill on Wednesday to impose a 1000 percent tax on AR-15-style weapons in another push for stricter gun control.

The Assault Weapons Excise Act would impose “an additional 1000 percent excise tax on the sale of large capacity ammunition feeding devices and semiautomatic assault weapons.” The tax would impact firearms manufacturers, producers or importers.

The bill defines “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device” that can accept more than 10 rounds.

A “semiautomatic assault weapon” is defined as any semi-automatic rifle that has “the capacity to use a magazine that is not a fixed magazine,” a pistol grip, a forward grip, and a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock, and more.

It also includes semi-automatic pistols that have a threaded barrel, a second pistol grip, a stabilizing brace, and more, and a semi-automatic shotgun that has a pistol grip, the ability to accept a detachable magazine, a forward grip, and more.

Federal, state, and local governments would be exempted from the additional tax.

Thirty-six House Democrats have signed on to the bill that was introduced by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), according to

“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,” Beyer said. “It is essential that Congress take meaningful action to prevent gun violence, and the bill I am putting forward can cut through the gridlock and get it done.”

The legislation comes amid a bipartisan push in Congress for more gun control after a gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, last month.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he’s preparing to back a bipartisan gun control framework announced on Sunday by 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

The framework has not yet been written or introduced as formal legislation, but will include an incentive for states and tribal officials to pass laws allowing authorities to seize firearms from individuals whom a court determines pose a danger to themselves or others.

“I’m comfortable with the framework, and if the legislation ends up reflecting what the framework indicates, I’ll be supportive,” McConnell told reporters at a press conference. He called the framework “a step forward” marking “progress for the country.”

McConnell’s support, in addition to the 10 Republicans who already joined the framework, means it could overcome a potential filibuster.