California’s New Tax on Gun is Based on Lies

Quote of the Day

As a professor who studies the economics of violence and illicit trades at the University of San Diego’s Kroc School of Peace Studies, I think this law could have important ramifications.

That agency, part of the Justice Department, is tasked with making American communities safer.

The ATF focuses on those products because, while legal, they can cause significant harm to society – in the form of drunken driving, for example, or cancer-causing addictions. They also have a common history: All have been associated with criminal organizations seeking to profit from illicit markets.

Alcohol and tobacco products are thus usually subject to state excise taxes. This policy is known as a “Pigouvian tax,” named after 20th-century British economist Arthur Pigou. By making a given product more expensive, such a tax leads people to buy less of it, reducing the harm to society while generating tax revenue that the state can theoretically use to offset those harms that still accrue.

California, for instance, imposes a US$2.87 excise tax on each pack of cigarettes. That tax is higher than the national average but much lower than New York’s $5.35 levy. California also imposed a vaping excise tax of 12.5% in 2021.

Of the three ATF product families, firearms have enjoyed an exemption from California excise taxes. Until now.

Topher L. McDougal
University of San Diego
May 28, 2024
California is about to tax guns more like alcohol and tobacco — and that could make a dent in gun violence (

Even if you want to ignore the unconstitutional taxing of a protected right, I find the following things very telling:

  • He claims the BATFE has the control of those products because of safety issues. This conveniently ignores the history of starting out under the Department of Treasury because it was all about the taxes on alcohol, tobacco,and NFA firearms.
  • If you read the source article, while tallying all the costs he ignores all the benefits of private firearm ownership.
  • He uses the total number of homicides as a cost while ignoring many of those homicides are justified. Which means each of those justified homicides represent one or more innocent lives saved.
  • He includes all suicides by firearm as a cost, which assumes none of them would have occurred if it had not been for the access to guns. I.E., he is assuming no other means of suicide would have been substituted in any of the cases.

In other words, he is lying by omission.

Of course he lied! You should not be surprised. It is part of their culture.


4 thoughts on “California’s New Tax on Gun is Based on Lies

  1. I best shoot Sum Dude today before the taxes go up. My margins are very tight.

    Hey the price of meth goes up because taxes have risen Brother.

    I would be glad to sell you this stolen firearm Flaco but I’ll need the tax payment up front.

    No dent in crime, not even a dimple.

  2. As Gerry above noted, he is also ignoring the fact that the vast majority of criminals get their guns from other criminals, not through buying them through legal retail dealers. They’re buying stolen guns, guns purchased through “straw” buyers (friends, relatives, girlfriends, etc.) or guns brought unlawfully into the country by the cartels or illegal “immigrants”. I’m guessing that he doesn’t REALLY believe that an excise tax is paid on these transactions, so it’s much easier to pretend it just doesn’t happen and then have to acknowledge that the ONLY people such a tax affects would be the lawful buyers.

    But I’m curious…since homicides by rifles (of all types) are massively outweighed by homicides committed with fists and feet and no other weapon (by a factor of almost 3-to-1; see the Feeb’s stats for 2022, the last year so far compiled) is he planning to tax our feet and hands as well?

    Oops, I’d better not give this lying sack of bovine excrement any ideas.

  3. What, California government is lying to gain power, money, control?
    How shocking!
    OK, let’s recap. Government’s business model is to bill itself as a necessary evil. (Evil being the operative word here.) That steals and controls everything so you can live happily. Maybe.
    And were surprised that evil is lying to us? We shouldn’t be.

  4. Leftists will lie…even when telling the truth would better serve them.
    They can’t help it. It’s congenital.

Comments are closed.