Quote of the day–John Lott

A comparison with the First Amendment is useful: If Chicago were to put any tax on a newspaper, even a penny, courts would throw it out as an abridgment of freedom of speech. Why should the Second Amendment be treated any differently?

Apparently, the city of Chicago sees no constitutional problem in imposing a $100 Chicago Firearms Permit fee plus another $15 per firearm (even on the non-operational ones) every three years. A valid Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card is also required, at a cost of $10, although it seems redundant as the Chicago permit and the Illinois FOID card do the same things. On an annual basis, Chicago’s fees are about 2.5 times the cost for the average concealed handgun permit.

Let’s face it, Mayor Richard Daley wants to ban guns, all guns. And he thinks that a complete ban is a “reasonable” regulation. The Supreme Court has ruled that he is not allowed to ban guns, but this is not going to change his mind about guns in the slightest. Daley now wants to place as restrictive rules as he thinks that the courts will let him get away with. Pretending that these rules are anything more than an attempt to limit gun ownership as much as possible is simply dishonest.

John Lott
July 9, 2010
Let’s Face It, Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley Wants to Ban Guns, All Guns
[And if he wanted to license or tax religions that too would be throw out. This is all well settled law. This is no different than the poll taxes and literacy tests imposed on blacks to prevent them from exercising their right to vote. Again and again Mayor Daley and his city council are nothing but a bunch of bigots.

Some politicians wanted the National Guard in Chicago and maybe they should be–to enforce the Second Amendment just like the Army was called out to protect students from racists following desegregation of the schools.–Joe]


5 thoughts on “Quote of the day–John Lott

  1. Don’t be silly Mayor Daley doesn’t want to ban all guns – just in the hands of honest people. Get a job as relief night bailiff in Chicago courts – kick back 100% of your pay and get a gun permit with the job – there are other ways also not open to the general public but when guns are outlawed not all the guns the outlaws have will be illeagal guns.

  2. Don’t be silly. Newspapers can be taxed (both sales tax and income tax) and it is settled law.


    http://aclu.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=444 (Part of the SC decision states “Clearly, the First Amendment does not prohibit all regulation of the press. It is beyond dispute that the States and the Federal Government can subject newspapers to generally applicable economic regulations without creating constitutional problems.”)

    http://law.jrank.org/pages/23249/Grosjean-v-American-Press-Co-Court-Strikes-Down-Tax-Unconstitutional-Prior-Restraint.html (After Grosjean, the Supreme Court upheld other, nondiscriminatory taxation of newspapers. What the Court made clear in the earlier case, however, is that abuses of power–in Grosjean the legislative taxing power–intended to circumvent the First Amendment will not be tolerated at the federal or the state level.)

  3. I should have made it clear that I was replying to the John Lott statement “If Chicago were to put any tax on a newspaper, even a penny, courts would throw it out as an abridgment of freedom of speech.”

  4. ubu52,

    I read all the sources you cited and came to a somewhat different conclusion than you did.

    Taxes on newspapers that are no different than any other retail objects are acceptable. But if newspapers were specifically singled out then it would not pass constitutional muster.

    Lott’s statement, taken out of context, is ambiguous and certainly could be interpreted as meaning any tax. But it could also be interpreted as a discriminatory tax against newspapers. In the context of a high tax on gun ownership I would be inclined to think he meant the illegal discriminatory type of tax.

    Daley’s tax on gun ownership is discriminatory and, if we apply the First Amendment rational in the references you provided, the taxes should be thrown out as an infringement on the Second Amendment.

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