California Republicans oppose new gun, ammo tax headed to Newsom's desk: 'Brutal attack on Second Amendment'

Democrats pass bill to further tax gun and ammunition purchases

A California Republican is calling out the state's legislature for sending a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk that would make it harder to obtain a gun, as crime continues to be a top issue for voters. 

State Assemblyman Tom Lackey joined "Fox & Friends" Tuesday to discuss why he opposes the legislation, as lawmakers wait for the Democratic governor's decision.

"It's unfortunate that we have to wait and see what's going to happen because this is really a brutal, unfair attack on our Second Amendment and our ability to defend ourselves."


California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a conference

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on May 2, 2023. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images) (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

California lawmakers on Thursday voted to raise taxes on guns and ammunition to pay for security improvements at public schools and gun violence prevention programs.

The federal government already taxes the sale of guns and ammunition nationwide. The government gives that money to the states, which spend it on wildlife conservation and hunter safety programs.

California’s proposed tax, if it becomes law, would be 11% — matching the highest tax imposed by the federal government on guns.

Lackey said this makes it harder for Californians to defend themselves. 

"Even the polls say 76% of Californians consider violence and street crime, a great threat. And this is the ability to protect ourselves against street violence and crime. And it's just really unfair."

Lackey said the term "gun violence" is used by the left to stir up emotion to blame guns rather than individuals. 

placeholderI don't even like the term gun violence because it is inappropriately directing the hate and fear on the weapon instead of the behavior. And they're quite good at crafting that misleading emotion." 

Lackey stated that as a highway patrol officer for years, having a sidearm gun kept himself and others safe. 

"I remind my fellow legislators of this very fact that it prevented violence just by being present and being visible on my side. But yet that gets ignored because they're able to stir the hate and the fear of weapons instead of the behavior behind it." 

Lackey agreed, when asked by co-host Ainsley Earhardt, that this legislation is an effort to discourage gun ownership in the state. 

The bill now heads to Newsom, who has until Oct. 14 to decide whether to sign it into law. It's not clear what he will do.

Newsom has opposed some high-profile tax increase proposals in recent years. But he has also been on a crusade to improve gun safety, signing a law last year that lets private citizens enforce the state's ban on assault weapons by filing civil lawsuits against anyone who distributes the weapons, parts that can be used to build the weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .50-caliber rifles.

A spokesperson for Newsom said the governor would "evaluate the bill on its merits."

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