CALIFORNIA ESCAPES NEW FEDERAL
FBI To Levy Tax By End Of Year
Only 20 States
Exempted $13–$16 Applies to
Retail Gun Sales
Under the general banner of crime reduction, and citing the Brady law
for its authority, the FBI plans to tax the retail sale of handguns and
long guns, starting Nov. 30, if their new computer systems are ready in
time. The proposed tax could generate $1 million per week nationally, based
on the bureau's estimates. Detailed information is included in a report
just issued by Phoenix-based Bloomfield Press, a book publisher specializing
in gun law [Ed.: Summary of Findings on request and website].
Perhaps more significant than a surprising new tax from the Justice
Department—without any apparent Congressional approval—is the FBI's announced
plans to record complete identifying information on every person who purchases
a firearm from a licensed dealer. Any regulation that requires such recording
has been prohibited under the McClure-Volkmer Act since 1986. Neither the
tax nor the gun-buyer registration scheme appear to be legal, according
to Alan Korwin, co-author of The California Gun Owner's Guide. Korwin
has written seven books on gun law. His California guide, released in February,
has all the state's gun laws and is his latest.
The federal registration and tax plan are being rolled out under the
guise of the National Instant Check System, required when Part 1 of the
Brady law expires this year. Under Brady Part 2, all retail handgun and
long gun sales will have to run through the system, which the FBI has based
at its Clarksburg, W. Va., data center. They are hiring 500 people to handle
the anticipated load.
The FBI intends to waive the tax for any state that sets up an FBI-approved
central firearms clearance center. California's background check system
has been approved, placing its state police under a degree of FBI control.
In other states, each dealer will have to "enroll" with the FBI
to legally make a sale, and pay the tax on every purchase. The Bureau will
accept credit cards or will arrange to bill dealers, and those who don't
pay (or are real late on the invoice) will be literally out of business.
Several authorities have indicated that they expect enough clamor from
the taxed dealers to compel their states to comply. When 100 Arizona dealers
were told at a government meeting in June, that they would not be taxed,
they cheered, apparently oblivious to the implications of federalizing
their local police.
Gun Owner's Guide