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Up in arms over proposed ammunition tax

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 4:08 PM EST
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TOWN OF LERAY, New York (WWNY) - North country gun owners could start paying a few more bucks for a bullet. Lawmakers and gun experts say a new bill in the state Senate is a direct attack on the Second Amendment.

Ammunition is one of the more popular products sold at Armageddon Arsenal Supply in the town of LeRay.

“We probably sell more ammunition than firearms because people already have firearms, and need more ammunition,” said Joe Johnson, manager, Armageddon Arsenal Supply.

A new bill introduced by Democratic Senator Andrew Gounardes, who represents part of Brooklyn, would put an excise tax on ammunition of 2 to 5 cents per projectile.

Influenced by recent shootings, the extra tax would go towards a gun violence research fund. It’s part of a study by the state Department of Health and SUNY.

Under the bill, projectiles that measure .22 caliber or less will be taxed at a rate of 2 cents per round. Any other ammunition would be 5 cents.

Johnson says the price of ammunition has fluctuated during the pandemic but says this tax is expected to be a hefty cost.

“This, adding 2 cents to something that’s only 2.7 cents, you literally just about doubled your cost,” he said.

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk says the bill is a direct attack on the Second Amendment.

“What is a deer hunter’s .30-06 ammo have to do with any inner-city gang bangers that are waving Glocks around the streets? The answer is nothing,” said Walczyk (R. - 116th District).

Johnson says if the bill is passed, north country gun owners will have to bite the bullet.

“If you know that’s your Second Amendment right, you’re going to say, ‘I don’t care what the cost is. I’m going to do it anyway.’ But in the long run, the state wins because guess what? You’re going to do it anyway and they’re getting that extra tax on it,” he said.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Budget and Review Committee.

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