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SAF Sues California, Challenging Its New 11% Excise Tax on Guns and Ammunition

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(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn California’s recently-adopted 11 percent excise tax on the sale of firearms, gun parts and ammunition.

The case was filed in San Diego County Superior Court. Joining SAF are the California Rifle & Pistol Association, National Rifle Association, Firearms Policy Coalition and two private citizens, Joshua Gerken and Danielle Jaymes, for whom the case, James v. Maduros, is named. The defendant is Nicolas Maduros, director of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, in his official capacity. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Chuck Michel, Tiffany Cheuvront, Laura Palmerin and Joseph Dale at Michel & Associates in Los Angeles, and by David H. Thompson and Peter A. Patterson at Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C.

“We are challenging the constitutionality of the tax, as adopted by Assembly Bill 28,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We contend in the lawsuit that this 11 percent tax is unconstitutional because it literally taxes conduct protected by the Second Amendment. There is no analogous evidence such a tax was ever applied at the time of the Founding era, as required by the 2022 Supreme Court Bruen ruling.”

“The power to tax is literally the power to destroy,” added SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “Assembly Bill 28 gives the State of California the power to destroy the exercise of a right protected by the Constitution by singling it out for special taxation. If allowed to stand, this tax could be expanded, and California could ultimately impose similar excise taxes on other constitutional rights it dislikes. This will not stop with a tax on the right to keep and bear arms.”

The lawsuit asks the court to declare the excise tax on firearms and ammunition violates the Second Amendment, and to permanently enjoin the state from enforcing the provisions of AB 28, including collection  of the tax. It also seeks to recover costs, including attorneys’ fees.

4 Responses

  1. hate the law yet this seems like an uphill battle to say the least. does seem that at some point a tax is so large it amounts to a de facto ban but probably not 11 percent.

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