Letters to the Editor: Why California’s proposed gun tax doesn’t make sense

Revolvers for sale are seen at a gun store in Oceanside in 2021.
(Bing Guan / Reuters)
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To the editor: If politicians proposed a law banning the sale of beef jerky after 10 p.m. because it would reduce gun violence, would the state Legislature pass it and the governor sign it? (“Here’s how a California tax on firearms would prevent gun violence,” Opinion, Sept. 19)

What about this proposed 11% excise tax on the sale of guns and ammunition?

Go online and see the average price of a pistol ($500) — what’s raising the price of a handgun $55 going to do?

Criminals don’t save up their money and buy new, high-tech weapons. The handguns used in crimes are often stolen weapons or old, cheap handguns purchased on the street.


I’m in favor of gun control, but I think advocates will lose their public support by proposing poorly thought-out solutions like this one.

Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes


To the editor: The Legislature recently passed a bill to authorize an additional 11% tax on gun and ammunition sales. In his op-ed article, gun control advocate Paul Carrillo applauds the bill and urges Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign it.

His logic is that since violence is committed with guns, the tax is justified and the revenue should be used for violence-intervention programs.

By that same logic, the Legislature should pass an additional tax on car and gasoline sales. After all, many violent deaths are attributable to automobiles, and there is no doubt that road rage and intentional car violence are major factors.

Oh, I know, the vast majority of car owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens, and they do not use their cars to commit violent acts — but the same is true for gun owners.


Regardless, we must do something to stop societal violence, and raising taxes is the logical answer.

Pat Veesart, Santa Margarita