An Illinois lawmaker wants gun owners to shell out extra taxes in order to finance a new grant program for trauma centers, a move firearms advocacy groups say amounts to a “sin tax” on law-abiding hunters and target shooters.
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, in a bill introduced earlier this month, proposed a 2 percent surtax on ammunition. The proceeds would go toward a “high-crime trauma center grant fund,” which would then send the tax money to trauma centers in “high-crime areas.”
The idea is to begin to offset the high cost of gun violence. Mark Walsh, campaign director for the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told FoxNews.com that cost often ends up being shouldered by these urban trauma centers.
“(The money would go) into communities here in Illinois that have been damaged with gun violence,” he said. “I think it’s a legitimate way to pursue funding.”
But Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said the bill effectively saddles gun owners — hunters, target shooters and those who own firearms for self defense — as a whole with the cost of gang violence in high-crime areas like Chicago.