Bills would tax ammunition, require handgun registration

Bills would tax ammunition, require handgun registration

SPRINGFIELD — All purchases of firearms ammunition in the state would be subject to a new 2 percent sales tax to help fund trauma centers under a bill (HB 5167) passed by a House committee Wednesday.

A lobbyist for the Illinois State Rifle Association called the measure "an unconstitutional poll tax."

The bill passed on a party-line vote in a committee dominated by Chicago Democrats.

The new tax would raise an estimated $800,000 to $1.2 million annually, according to sponsor Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, "for the fight against gun violence." Money would be deposited in a new High Crime Trauma Center Grant Fund.

"This is something you'll be siphoning from the rest of the state to prop up, I would guess, Cook County Hospital," said Todd Vandermyde, Illinois lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. "Once again the rest of the state is being bled for Cook County. It seems that the voraciousness of the tax increases, the 67 percent income tax increase isn't enough and we need to keep hiking and adding taxes on us."

A second gun bill, HB 5831, also cleared the committee on a partisan roll call. It would mandate the registration of all handguns in the state, with the money collected going to maintenance of various crime-tracking computer systems.

"The city of Chicago already has a handgun registry," said Felicia Davis, an aide to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, "but when the majority of the illegal handguns arrive in our city from elsewhere in the state, Chicago's gun laws are only as good as the rest in the state of Illinois."

Davis said that a University of Chicago study found that 56 percent of guns recovered at Chicago crime scenes were traced back to sources in Illinois but outside of Chicago.

Vandermyde said there already are plenty of gun control laws in the state and that the problem is a legal system that permits lawbreakers on the streets.

"This is just a tax," he said.

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GAL_9000 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 10:03 am

Both of these bills are money grabs.

Ammunition is already taxed. This additional tax forces law-abiding citizens outside of the Chicago area to pay for gang violence trauma centers in the Chicago area. Why can't they tax the gang-bangers or seize their assets to pay for the trauma centers?


The other bill is far, far worse. They want to force gun owners across the state to register handguns much like they do in Chicago. Furthermore, they want to make criminals of any gun owner whose gun is stolen. They claim that knowing what firearms have been stolen will help them to trace the firearm if used in a crime. This makes no sense. Firearms are already traceable. If they were not already traceable, how would they know that "56 percent of guns recovered at Chicago crime scenes were traced back to sources in Illinois but outside of Chicago" ??

In Illinois, firearm owners themselves are registered, required to hold an FOID card in order to possess a firearm or ammunition. Further registration is merely an excuse to shake down gun owners for more cash.

They also claim that the money from this registration could be used to help improve the background check systems and interfaces. This is a worthy goal, but the money could be better raised from concealed carry license fees than from Chicago-style registration fees. 


March 7th is Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day. Make your voices heard, people!



corruptville wrote on March 03, 2012 at 9:03 am
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It's just to bad they don't make guns illegal period. You don't need a gun. No gun is going to offer you protection. I think you gun owners should bear all the costs just like smokers are required to. You need taxed to the point where you can't afford to buy guns. Guns are  needless, only cowards rely on guns and yes that goes for law unenforcement too......  Guns will never offer protection against someone whom is out to harm you. I hope our state does charge those of you whom are going to fail to follow this law with a felony so you won't be able to own a gun.

Even hunters don't need guns as hunting should be illegal too as life is more important to protect than allowing human beings to continue to destroy every living thing on this planet. 

Gun owners should be rounded up and put on a island and let you all shoot and kill each other as our great country does not need guns as those whom live by the gun will die by the gun........

I have guns too, it's called a brain, thats all the guns I'll ever need, learn to use yours and you won't feel you have to have a gun to offer yourself protection from that big bad booogy man you fear so much.........

Tango wrote on March 03, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I was going to pen a wonderful response to your post, but I was reminded of John Lennon's line in "Imagine" - "Nothing to kill or die for".

Well, maybe you're happy living in such a world. My family, my country and my own life mean more to me than that. I would hope you would respect that sentiment (as it's shared my thousands of others).

It appears that since you lack any form of urge for self-preservation I would generally categorize you as delusional, although let me do some research:

-Guns will never offer protection against someone whom is out to harm you.

  • Paranoia

-Gun owners should be rounded up and put on a island...

  • Incapable of real human attachment to another

  • Ongoing disregard for the rights of others

-It's just to bad they don't make guns illegal period.

  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors (we still have the right to lawfully "keep and bear arms", even in Illinois)

-and let you all shoot and kill each other

  • Lack of remorse for actions that hurt other people in any way

  • Reckless when it comes to their or others safety

-I have guns too, it's called a brain, thats all the guns I'll ever need...

  • Extreme narcissism and grandiose sense of self

  • Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them

Congratulations! You don't meet the definition of delusional. You do, however, meet several of the clinical criteria of being a sociopath.

If you want to live in your version of utopia, why not move to England? They tried to enact a wonderful nation free of the scourge of guns, but you know what? Their gun crime actually went up 400%. I guess they're not as enlightened as you though.

And with your callous disregard for human life?

- life is more important to protect than allowing human beings to continue to destroy every living thing on this planet

-Guns are  needless, only cowards rely on guns and yes that goes for law unenforcement too

I'd rather you were on another continent entirely, thanks.

Reader100 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 12:03 pm

This is a great idea and more than fair as everyone in the state, if not country, is already taxed heavily every time a gunshot victim anywhere goes to the hospital and doesn't have health insurance. That costs all taxpayers billions per year even though more than half the taxpayers don't own firearms. THAT is unfair and unconstitutional. Let firearms owners bear the actual cost of the totally irresponsible distribution of guns in the US due to the zealtry of the NRA, and its lobbyists. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 01, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I am a F.O.I.D. card holder.   I inherited a antique pistol, and shotgun from my Father.   I, also, own a shotgun he bought for me when I was 14 years old.   How much will I be taxed on the three guns?  Where will I register the guns?  When will I be taxed again on the guns?  Will the tax be utilized in my county Trauma Center?  I read the bill's synopsis; but details were missing regarding my stated questions.  Would any of the local state legislators please address the bills in the News Gazette to assist clarity?

Reader100 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 1:03 pm

People inherit real estate all of the time and find they can't afford the taxes on it. So they sell some or all of it. No matter what, you'll be free to pay the taxes on, or sell, some of your firearms. Otherwise, the high price states (and all of their taxpayers, even non gun owners) are incurring because of irresponsible gun distribution today (and its resulting gun carnage, like we saw in the school in Ohio the other day and which didn't occur in a big city) is a direct result of a minority (gun owners) support of an irresponsible lobby (the NRA) and their stranglehold over an equally irresponsible party (US congress.) I don't like taxes either, but you can blame this one on the NRA's leadership, not Springfield. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I am an opponent of "conceal and carry"; and I believe that firearm owners should possess F.O.I.D. cards.  However, your comment causes me to wonder about other costs to the taxpayer.  Perhaps, obese people should be taxed for their overweight since it costs taxpayers money when obesity leads to illnesses.  Perhaps,  laptop users should be taxed since the disposal of laptops may cost taxpayers.   Perhaps, bike riders should be taxed to maintain bike paths.  There must be additional user taxes that could be created also.   There seems to be no middle ground any more.  

Reader100 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

In many cases, they already are. Health insurers charge people who engage in less healthy lifestlyes bigger premiums. And new taxes are already being considered, if not have not have already been passed by some states, to cover the costs of recycling electronics, including laptops. 

ronaldo wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Blame this one on the NRA?   The NRA has not given us the right to keep and bear arms.  That would be the founding fathers of this great nation, through the 2nd Ammendment.  You can whine and moan about what it means, but before you do I suggest you study it sometime.

jdmac44 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

About 11,000 people die from gunshot wounds per year.  That includes justifiable homicides.  About 40,000 people die in auto accidents.  Heart attacks run into the hundreds of thousands, I can think of a lot bigger priorities than taxing guns and ammo, other than to comfort the trembling souls who are paranoid about guns.  I bet it'll work about as well as the lottery paying for schools, or U of I employees paying into the pension system, or Americans paying into Social Security, yeah, all that money's been used the way it was intended.  Most Illinois gun owners will be making shopping trips to our neighboring states; Illinois is a master at driving business away.

No worries, we came within three votes of a super majority for concealed carry last year, these two bills will be toast.  They're just there to make their sponsors look like champions of the liberal state.  ("it's for the children")

boomersand wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Agree with you there on HB148.  All of these libs can keep their electric cars and wind power.  I will keep my gas loving Suburban and my XDM closer! 

ronaldo wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Weak logic, reader. You're sophomorically proposing the penalization of the law-abiding for the actions of the criminals. And furthermore, these taxes won't do squat in lowering the taxes which are used to treat gunshot victims.

Conceal Carry - 49 states can't be wrong.

Reader100 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

What you fail to mention is how many are wounded every year, how many of them aresn't insured, and the fact that, under present conditions, it's costing broke states billions of dollars and taxpayers who don't even own guns a lot of money. So, pay it or sell your guns and quit whining about taxes. 

boomersand wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Don't tell me that my legally owned, left alone in my house while I am at work, firearm, is doing all these killing by gang bangers and bad guys.   Get real!!!  The bad guys know that we are victims and cn take advantage of us because then know we can't protect ourselves. 

boomersand wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

49 other states can't be wrong.   I want the option to preserve my life and my loved ones should I ever encounter a bad guy on the subway or when I am away from my house.   Don't tell me that I'm not a responsible gun owner.  Have any of you read the constitiution lately, mainly the 2nd Amendment?  What the state of IL is doing is unconstitutional.  And if you dont' want a gun to carry, don't get one.  Do you ever go outside of the state of IL?  If so, you don't even know who is carrying a weapon, because it's concealed.    Believe me I feel safer in every other state besides IL.  

Reader100 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Why are posting about conceal and carry in a thread for a story about taxes? 

jthartke wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

In my read of this bill, firearms themselves are not being taxed.  It is ammunition.

People pay additional tax for lots of dangerous or harmful things, alcohol and cigarrettes being my first two thoughts.  One cannot say that ammuntion is not potentially dangerous.  Plus, if you are hunting for game, you usually do not fire too many rounds.  Where ammunition gets expensive is those who just target practice and blow stuff up for fun.  If you have the money to enjoy shooting guns as a passtime, then you can afford 2% more when the State is broke. Or just shoot 2% less rounds.

I would say it is much the same argument for cigarette taxes -- if you have the extra income to smoke for enjoyment, then you can afford the extra tax.

boomersand wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I think most business people here want to support other businesses and buy their ammo and guns from local gun shops.  But I for one will just hope across the border to IN and buy it there.   It's usually less buy a dollar or two per 50 rounds.   I bet anyone that is an opponent to CCW, isn't a business owner,  loves gas prices at 4$ and supports Barry Obama.   Or are on welfare.    

Mark Taylor wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

That's absolutely right.  Only Maobama worshipping government plantation dwellers hooked on government cheese and educated in government madrasahs are against concealed carry. If anyone scares me when I leave my compound, I should have the right to blow them away and not worry about some ACLU loving communist DA prosecuting me. Oh, and a lot of people out there scare me, so be very polite to me or you just might could get shot.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 01, 2012 at 6:03 pm

@Mark Taylor;  Wink, wink... ;)  You do stir it up.

Drylok wrote on March 01, 2012 at 4:03 pm

We shouldn't be paying extra taxes on any of those things in the first place. It is not about what somone can or can't afford, it's the idea that government can pick and chose what it wants to tax at what rates. They take and take and take, that's all they do.

ronaldo wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

This is nothing more than another tax n grab tactic.  The rest of the nation is freeing their constituents gun owning rights from the unconstitutional laws that have been put on the books, and Iliniois - the laughing stock of the nation in just about every category, in case you've been sleeping - is tightening their grip.

Remember November 6th.


ronaldo wrote on March 01, 2012 at 3:03 pm

They know the criminals don't have the money to pay up, at least not legally obtained money.  Heck, they likely stole their guns to begin with.

If this passes, you can be sure that many will purchase their ammunition in Indiana, Missouri or Wisconsin.  Then the sales taxes can go to the other states.  Guess the Chicago Dem's didn't think about that.  Typical of their lack of thinking.

Reader100 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Keep dreaming, Buddy. Law enforcement already knows where most criminal guns come from and it's gun dealers who sell guns, illegally, to straw purchasers. The NRA has gone to  bat in DC successfully for such dealers effectively. So gun owners will be paying more $ for their ammo, and not just in IL. You might shop for a less crazy lobby if you want to pay less $. 

boomersand wrote on March 01, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Illinois Sheriffs' Association
February 5, 2009
The Illinois Sheriffs' Association at their Winter Training Conference passed a resolution in support of concealed carry in Illinois with specific limitations.
After much discussion and concerns about the final language of the legislation the sheriffs, present and voting, unanimously approved the resolution. There were sixty of the one hundred and two sheriffs registered for the training conference.
“There are still individual sheriffs who have reservations and concerns about concealed carry in Illinois and do not support the legislation,” according to Greg Sullivan, Executive Director.
Sheriff Gib Cady, 2009 President, stated, “We are constitutional officers who take an oath to uphold the constitution and we have decided to take a leadership role on this issue. This is the number one issue that our constituents talk to us about.”
There are two states, Illinois and Wisconsin, which do not allow some sort of concealed or open carry.
“The ISA has been neutral on this issue for years but the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and the feedback and the experience from the other states has turned that tide. Out of 79 sheriffs responding to our survey, 90% of those sheriffs support concealed carry with the right type of restrictions, training and scrutiny. They also believe that local law enforcement should have the right to object to a permit application with justifiable cause,” said Sullivan.
The resolution is as follows:
Whereas, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is a statewide organization representing the one hundred and two Sheriffs of Illinois who are constitutional officers who have sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States and the State of Illinois; and,
Whereas, the Illinois Sheriffs' Association conducted a survey of Sheriffs across Illinois; and,
Whereas, ninety percent (90%) of those responding support concealed carry in Illinois if adequate training and safeguards are included; and,
Whereas, the Illinois Sheriffs' Association Legislative Committee met on November 19, 2008, and appointed a special committee consisting of Sheriffs from all geographic areas of the state
and that committee has met and discussed the specific recommendations for the procedures in
obtaining a concealed carry permit; and,
Whereas, the committee has formulated their recommendations to the Executive Board of the
Illinois Sheriffs' Association and the Executive Board has recommended that this resolution be
presented to the full body at our General Session on Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at the Winter
Training Conference in Moline, Illinois; and,
Whereas, the general provisions of a conceal carry act in Illinois should include the following:
1. Permits should be issued by a state agency to insure consistency in evaluation and
2. Individuals who receive a concealed carry permit should receive adequate training
including basic knowledge of firearms, the proper handling of a firearm, live fire
exercises for range qualification, instruction and testing on use of force as a citizen
including the liability of that use.
3. Applications should be processed by the Sheriff’s office including the ability of the
Sheriff to articulate specific reasons why the permit should be denied and those
objections should be considered by the state before issuing a permit.
4. For the purpose of officer safety, a concealed carry permit should be an identifiable code,
background or other means to show that an individual has been issued a permit to carry a
concealed firearm on the person’s driver’s license, FOID card and state identification.
Therefore, be it resolved, this 3rd day of February, 2009, that the Illinois Sheriffs'
Association, by a majority of those voting, support the right of law abiding citizens to
possess and carry a concealed firearm for the purpose of protecting their life and families;
and be it further resolve that a suitable copy of this resolution be delivered to the General
Assembly of the State of Illinois.


ronaldo wrote on March 01, 2012 at 10:03 pm

You haven't a clue on what you're talking about, and you use just the right buzzwords to let us all know you're getting your talking points from the same worn out sources.  Gangbangers are NOT getting guns from licensed gun dealers.  They're NOT getting them from any legitimate source, and over 60% in most areas are stolen guns.  You've got to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic to even repeat that, not to mention really believe that.  Straw purchases are illegal, so before you go making claims that they're legal due NRA lobbying efforts, you'd better lay down some proof.  The ONLY thing you're going to come up with is your guys in Fast & Furious, but of course I'm sure that makes you uncomfortable to talk about.

Drylok wrote on March 01, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I have news for you. We're going to beat both of these bills and everything else they throw at us into submission just like we've been doing for 3 sessions now. They know how close we are to right to carry so this is nothing more than grandstanding and trying to distract us. The people in Chicago do not have a gun problem they have a gang problem and it is not our responsibility to take care of it.

jdmac44 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I'm not even going to argue anymore, the bill is going to fail, so start crying in your wee little pillow now and make your plans to move to some paradise like Commie-fornia.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on March 02, 2012 at 7:03 am
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Ok then.  Let's start off with this.  I'm generally opposed to gun control.  I think that more often than not it is pointless since only the law-abiding citizens are really affected by gun restrictions in the first place.  I support concealed carry, not because I think it will really help anything or because it's a good idea but because I don't see a compelling reason for the government to ban it.  I think a lot of liberal folks have an irrational fear of guns.

That all being said, what is so terrible about either of these laws?  It seems like the outrage towards this is just the usual sort of anger directed from the NRA crowd and the gun fetishists among us towards any gun control measure, regardless of its merits.  Why should firearms not be registered?  And a 2 percent tax for emergency room victims, sorry if I can't get outraged about that either.  I think I'll side with a little extra money for care of gunshot victims over quelling the indignation of gun lovers.

boomersand wrote on March 02, 2012 at 9:03 am

Gun are registered when you buy them.  And you pay a FFL to transfer it into your name.  This is no reason to add another tax to my ammo or my guns that I own.   And creating a database for the names of people that own guns, Well there is that too.  Most states call it a CCW permit, but in Crookinois it's called a FOID card.  I appreciate the fact you support conceal and carry, but do you want me to tax you knitting needles 50$ per year, just because I can't stand to knit or don't like when people knit on the train while I go to work in the big bad city everyday.   

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 02, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Who are the "gun shot victims" that do not have insurance?   I agree with F.O.I.D. cards.  I have one.  I have no problem with gun registration.  However, a gun registration fee of $65.00 per gun is discriminatory.  I inherited two guns which are inoperable from my Father.  The guns were my Grandfather's guns.  Both are antiques.  I do not even fire any guns so the ammunition tax is not my concern.  I know the attitude from some of the previous commenters regarding inheriting land.  Guns are not land.  They are mechanical tools.  I will end up paying $130.00 for what?  How long will it be before I pay another $130.00?  My F.O.I.D. is good for 10 years.  I pay a fee (tax) for it.  The only reason that I have it is to keep some family memories.  Will the gun registration fee be good for 10 years?  I am not, nor ever have been, a gun advocate.  However, this "tax" for additional gun registration has me starting to support the NRA.  Has this country reduced itself to "for me, or against me" on every issue?  Is there no middle ground anymore?

ronaldo wrote on March 02, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Let's go shooting, Sid.  You'll like it.  Maybe a NG commenters shooting day.  Even make it open to Reader and O'Connor, although I think the latter has either graduated and left town or has changed monikers.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 03, 2012 at 7:03 am

As long as I do not have to hold the targets.  My Father taught me how to shoot.  He taught me that a gun is just a tool used for one thing.  I used that tool when I was younger.  I decided long ago that I never wanted to kill anything again.  So I am stuck with guns that belonged to my family now.  I don't use them; but I clean them regularly.  They bring back memories of my Grandfather, and Father.  I wonder if I can still hit the target.  I am up for it; but I don't know about the other commenters.  We definitely will not discuss politics though.  Thanks for the invite, ronaldo.

Tango wrote on March 03, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Here's the bills in a nutshell:

Chicago wants more money from everybody in the state.

Realizing they can't raise income taxes any more, they go after one of the more easily demonizable groups in Illinois - gun owners.

Thanks to the work of the 5th column - excuse me - objective press agencies within our state, the average non-gun owner doesn't understand that the people doing the killings in the street are typically already prohibited from owning guns, don't have FOID's and since they can't buy either of them legally don't pay sales tax on their guns or ammo.

Additionally, if the thugs doing the killing are already precluded by state and federal laws from owning, possessing or even touching a firearm or ammunition, what makes anyone in their right mind believe that this law, on top of the thousands of others that already prohibit their conduct, will actually be the "magic edict" that solves the problem of guns used in crime?

The hacks do a great job of talking about how these funds will "fund trauma centers" and "help prevent crime", but fail to mention that, in grand Illinois tradition, a significant portion will likely be "diverted" in Springfield, much will go to the coffers in Chicago and a scant amount will actually make it to the publicized destinations. And the folks in charge of those agencies and entities won't say a word, since they're all politically appointed.

So the rest of the state will bust their rear end to help Chicago recoup expenses, like the $399,950.00 they had to pay the Second Amendment Foundation for costs related to the fight against their illegal gun ban (as well as the still undisclosed amount they paid their own attorneys in that folly). The press will reminisce with Daley about how great his administration was (all the while turning a blind eye to the graft that kept the wheels turning and the .38 he carries as a "Conservator of the Peace").

And the poor suckers in the 51st Ward - that is, the rest of the state - will be left defenseless against both the criminals in the street and the criminals in office, taxed without true representation, while jobs flee our state and our taxes become the highest in the nation.

Go Illinois!

SuperGlide wrote on March 06, 2012 at 10:03 am

"I have guns too, it's called a brain, thats all the guns I'll ever need..."

Since your brain cannot develop properly constructed and punctuated sentences, I'll assume it's running low on ammo or has jammed.

Either way, your brain-gun has misfired. 

C in Champaign wrote on March 06, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Let's not forget the thousands of Illinois residents who use guns for things other than self protection and/or hunting. Sports that require no killing of "innocent" animals, or our fellow human beings. Sports like Skeet, Trap, Sporting Clays, Five Stand, Three Gun Competitions, Marksmanship contests, the list goes on and on. In fact I would venture a guess that a huge majority (maybe in excess of 90%) of the ammo that is fired by gun owners in Illinois, or any state for that matter, is fired during one of these activities or in simply shooting paper targets at the range.

While I do enjoy upland bird and waterfowl hunting, the bulk of my ammo is spent on sporting clays, and five stand. I can go through hundreds of shotgun shells in a weekend afternoon, more than I will fire in a whole season of hunting, and the only thing that gets hurt, besides my ego, is a bunch of pesky little orange clay disks.

In fact, the State of Illinois has a huge sports shooting complex that was built and operated by the State down in Sparta. I remember Governor Rod made a big deal about it when it opened. They hold state, regional, even national shooting sports competitions at the complex, and strangely enough, despit the fact that nearly everybody there has guns and fires hundreds of rounds (each) in a weekend, nobody gets shot, and everybody has a good time.

Check it out here:

Shooting sports are already a somewhat expensive hobby, why should we add yet another cost (tax) to it?