September 13, 2023
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Sacramento, California 95814
RE: AB 28| Excise Tax; Firearms and Ammunition | REQUEST FOR VETO
Dear Governor Newsom:
Gun Owners of California is writing to express our continued opposition to AB 28, (Gabriel), and thus request your veto of this bill which seeks to place an excise tax on both firearms and ammunition sold in California.
We oppose this legislation from a foundational perspective in that taxing an enumerated right is not only unconstitutional but is strongly prejudicial. We question why the law abiding should be financially penalized when they are engaging in a perfectly legal financial transaction of a perfectly legal product. If, however, AB 28 sought to levy a special tax on someone who had committed a crime while using a firearm, that at least bears a nexus to the problem the bill aims to solve. Punishing the lawful for the misdeeds of the unlawful seems misdirected and punitive, and the fact that the proposed tax significantly tops any sales and use tax already levied in the state makes it all the more retaliatory.
If the Legislature chooses to raise and expend resources to address violence of any kind – gun-related or otherwise, shouldn’t that be a cost borne by the whole of California’s tax-payers – rather than singling out those who choose to purchase a firearm? After all, the overwhelming majority of firearms used in crimes are either stolen or secured on the black market by thieves. In fact, according to the 2019 U.S. Department of Justice Report on the “Source and Use of Firearms involved in Crimes” only 1.3% obtained the gun from a retail source.
This is yet another wrong-headed and futile approach to solving the problem of firearm misuse. Our organization has a 40-year history of fighting for effective crime control and opposing ineffective gun control. The safety of Californians is at the very foundation of our mission, and it has been our consistent goal to work toward common sense solutions regarding the issue of crime and firearm ownership; this can be done, however, without sacrificing our Constitutional rights and the ability of the law abiding to protect their families.
Sam Paredes, Executive Director
GUN OWNERS OF CALIFORNIA
1190 Suncast Lane, Suite 2, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 – (916) 984-1400 (916) 984-1402 fax
A Political Committee Dedicated to Crime Control – Not Gun Control