Illinois gun owners could face a 2 percent tax on ammunition if proposed legislation makes its way through the General Assembly.
House Bill 5167 is expected to yield up to $1.2 million a year, according to Illinois Statehouse News. The Illinois Department of Public Health would give the revenue to trauma care centers in high crime areas, including Chicago.
A co-sponsor of the bill said it's part of the "fight against gun crime," but National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde argued it's an “unconstitutional poll tax."
"The law-abiding citizens are essentially paying for the criminals' actions," said Robert Wise, co-owner of gun shop in New Lenox. That's an argument state legislators have echoed, because they believe legal gun owners would be paying the price for violent crimes largely in Chicago.
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Co-sponsor Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) and said the proposal would provide greater access to trauma care and help some hospitals establish trauma centers. That aid wouldn't be limited to Chicago, according to the Statehouse News.
The House Executive Committee approved the bill with a 7-4 vote along party lines last week. Rep. Renee Kosel (R-New Lenox) said she doesn't anticipate that to be the case when it goes to a full House vote.
"There are many people from downstate Illinois who are pro-Second Amendment and they're Democrats," Kosel said. "I've sworn off tax increases regardless of what's taxed. We can't afford it in this economy. People could even just go to Indiana or Wisconsin to buy ammunition."
Downrange co-owner Ray Wise said it would have a detrimental effect on customers in the Lincoln-Way area. He said the price of bullets has already increased recently, and that's in part because of the high demand for the ingredients of a bullet.
"This is a very good, gun-supporting community," he said. "If they want to reduce crimes then why not pass concealed carry?"
Illinois Statehouse News contributed to this report. Read the full story here.