A key House Democrat is floating a 1,000% tax on AR-15s and similar rifles as part of his party’s latest bid to push gun control in the wake of recent mass shootings.
Rep. Donald Beyer of Virginia, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, told Business Insider that increasing the cost of the rifles ten-fold could be a deterrent to mass shootings. The tax could raise the price of the rifles to anywhere from $5,000 to as much as $20,000.
“What it’s intended to do is provide another creative pathway to actually make some sensible gun control happen,” Beyer said. “We think that a 1,000% fee on assault weapons is just the kind of restrictive measure that creates enough fiscal impact to qualify for reconciliation.”
A final draft of Beyer’s bill is not yet complete, and it is still unclear when the tax would take effect and what the added revenue would fund, although one possibility is a restitution program for family members of victims killed in shootings. Beyer said that law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military wouldn’t be subject to the tax. The lawmaker added that he believes his bill can clear the House, where Democrats hold a clear majority, and bypass the filibuster in the Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris could cast the deciding vote.