Democrats propose 1000% tax on 'assault weapons,' high-capacity magazines

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., introduced the legislation Friday along with 24 other House Democrats.

Published: August 7, 2023 12:17pm

House Democrats reintroduced legislation that would impose a 1000% excise tax on "semiautomatic assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines.

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., introduced the legislation Friday along with 24 other House Democrats. Beyer had introduced legislation on the same idea last year with 41 cosponsors, and even with a Democratic-controlled House, the bill remained stuck in committee.

It is unclear whether the new bill is the same as the one from 2022, as the text of the new legislation was not published as of Monday.

The new bill, HR 5135, is titled, "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose an additional 1,000 percent excise tax on the sale of large capacity ammunition feeding devices and semiautomatic assault weapons, and for other purposes."

An AR-15, the bestselling U.S. rifle according to NPR, can cost between $400 for a basic model to more than $2000 for a higher-end model. The new tax proposal would increase those prices to a range of $4,000 to $20,000.

Beyer's previous bill proposed taxing magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This would have affected many standard semiautomatic pistols, such as Glock 19s.

"It is essential that Congress take meaningful action to prevent gun violence, and the bill I am putting forward can cut through the gridlock and get it done," Beyer said when he introduced the bill last year.

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