San Jose CA gun tax law is a positive first step to rational gun ownership

San Jose CA gun tax law is a positive first step to rational gun ownership.

Requiring gun owners to cover the community cost of their activity does not violate the second amendment, To the contrary it enables gun ownership. Paying the tax is voluntary and enforcement is applied only on discovery of weapons with unpaid tax.

Legally, this seems problematic to me on several counts. Morally, isn’t charging all gun owners for the costs of the illegal misuse of guns unfair? It apparently presumes that the very existence of privately owned guns is a public nuisance and that guns have no positive utility, debate points that have been discussed ad nauseum on this board.

No, it simply acknowledges that there are community costs associated with gun ownership.

It appears to be an annual Fee and insurance requirement, so more like car ownership. Using the word Tax seems to be incorrect in this case.

This seems to be a slightly more objective reporting:

Thanks - perhaps I misused the term tax.

In New York State, we are required to pay for uninsured motorist coverage as part of the minimum required auto insurance.

Isn’t that charging all car owners for the cost of illegal driving without insurance, and so unfair?

Well, the Fox News story used and in my opinion abused the word Tax, so I can see the source was them.

We solve all sorts of societal problems this way. Insurance, public safety, etc. It’s very difficult to charge only those who misuse things for their misuse because people who are habitually doing dumb/bad stuff that causes problems for society tend to be judgment proof.

But it is a tax that bears a heavier burden on poor people and minorities. At least that is what the NRA will claim.

Not a tax though, but correct on the heavier burden on poor people part.

I’ll leave the minutae to other Dopers but how does this bolded part work? How are gun owners more enabled to own guns with this law than without it?

It is almost certainly Unconstitutional.

First, the State reserves the right for gun control measures.

And “The power to tax is the power to destroy”. Even if you call it a “fee”.

There is no real “cost to the community” for guns legally by non-criminals. Some retired cop, security guard, pawn shop owner, duck hunter, etc who keeps a gun is not costing the community anything.

It is the criminals- who by SCOTUS ruling- do not have to register their guns, that up the violence.

It sounds kind of like drug stamps. From what I remember, illegal drug dealers were supposed to buy these stamps and affix them to the drugs. If they got busted with drugs and they didn’t have the stamps, they would be charged with tax fraud.

All criminals start out being “non-criminals” That guy in Vegas who killed 50+ people was not a criminal when he bought and owned his guns, until he was.

Agreed 100%. It’s exactly the same as any other tool or sporting equipment. There’s no “community cost” to owning a kitchen knife or a baseball bat, and any attempt to say “These feature in a lot of domestic violence incidents, we should tax their ownership” would be rightly howled down.

And a tax isn’t going to stop that. It sounds a lot like punishing the innocent because dealing with the root cause (and there are many, none of which are actually related to guns) is too hard or doesn’t suit the modern feels-driven agendas.

Not quite the same thing. In the case you cite the only law being broken is the insurance requirement law itself. With automobiles the vast majority of collisions are accidental or at worst negligent, which no one wanted and can happen to the best of us. An analogy to the case of guns would be if significant numbers of murderous maniacs were deliberately running people down, and so it was decided to add a special “vehicular homicide fee” to the cost of auto insurance. The overwhelming majority of drivers who do not use their cars to commit murder might feel like they shouldn’t have to pay for others’ willful misconduct.

It’s hard to avoid the impression that the main focus of this fee is punitive: punish gun owners for their stubborn refusal to allow the “rational” course of eliminating guns. As I said, this presumes that gun ownership has virtually no positive utility. If there actually were no guns, what hidden costs would be associated with that state of affairs?

Yes I know that in a nation of 300 million people individuals are like molecules in a cloud of gas that can only be treated statistically; but the quaint old tradition of personal responsibility should still hold in some cases.

Accepting and sharing the communal cost of the proliferation of weapons in the general population is an enabling action that counters the alternative of eliminating weapon ownership.

Which of our other Constitutional rights should we have to pay a tax to enjoy?

A couple of other amendments have taxes:

Amendment 16 - Income Tax
Amendment 21 - Alcohol

Well, according to Mother Jones, there were two mass shooting in 2020, and 10 in 2019.

So let us say a average of 5 a year of shooters who had no felony convictions before. New criminals.

There are 400 Million guns in the USA. You are taxing 399,999,995 guns for those five. Hardly fair.

Now, there have been complaints about the same-old/same-old arguments.

Can we try and keep this thread to just the idea of one city with fees/taxes and insurance requirements for their gun owners?

Note also there is no such thing as “gun liability insurance”. AFAIK, no one sells it, and you can not buy it. (Homeowners and renters do have general liability insurance for incidents in their home.) So, this is effectively a gun ban. It is like CA requiring new models of guns have Microstamping. There is no realistic way to do this, no company has done it, so it is effectively a ban on new handgun models.

From the cite earlier: Earlier this month, city lawmakers passed a new law requiring all retailers to record video and audio of all firearm purchases. San Jose became the largest California city with such a rule.

This seems like a good idea but there are privacy concerns. Who has access to this?

In at least CA, you do not have to pay a fee or have insurance for cars not driven on the public highways. In effect, the fees are highway use fees. The number of citizens in San Jose who can carry a gun in public is more or less just cops and security guards. The entirety of Santa Clara county has only about 100 CCW, mostly to people who donate large sums. There are high fees associated with those, so all “civilians” who carry a gun “on the public highways” (so to speak) already pay high fees.