SACRAMENTO -- Mass panic caused by a mass shooting followed by thoughts, prayers and vigils -- it’s a cycle the U.S. has seen before.
But this time, California lawmakers are finally pushing hard to break it.
“The impacts to our communities is really staggering,” said Rebecca Gonzales with Brady United Against Gun Violence. “The costs to our health care system, the cost to our criminal justice system is huge.”
Brady United Against Gun Violence is sponsoring a number of bills they hope will curb shootings.
One in particular is getting a lot of attention from gun supporters. Assembly Bill 18 would add a $25 tax on all handguns and semi-automatic rifles sold in California.
“In essence, what they’re trying to do is tax a constitutionally enumerated right,” said Craig Deluz with the Firearms Policy Coalition.
Deluz said if the idea is to stop mass shootings, AB 18 is not the way to do it. He said the bill is pricing lawful gun owners out of buying lawful guns.
“Then we’re going to increase that tax,” he told FOX40. “If you want to get a concealed carry permit, we’re going to increase it. It becomes death by a thousand cuts.”
“There’s no empirical data to show that taxing has any effect on gun violence reducing,” said Sacramento Gun Club Director Jackie Long.
The Sacramento Gun Club provides classes on safety and proper use of firearms, among other services for gun enthusiasts.
Long believes educating people is a more effective way to prevent deaths than a new gun tax.
He feels AB 18 unfairly targets gun retailers.
“Getting the communities involved, that’s what helps reduce the violence that we see in our communities,” he said.
The bill would generate an estimated $13 million every year, according to San Jose Assemblyman Mark Levine, the bill’s author. That tax money would go to CalVIP, a nonprofit that gives grants to cities and counties for programs that aim to curb gun deaths.
“I do really think that this is a way for everybody to contribute to the safety of the community,” Gonzales said.