clear
Saturday August 29th, 2015 7:33PM

Official proposes bullet tax to curb Chicago crime

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) -- As Chicago struggles to quell gang violence that has contributed to a jump in homicides, a top elected official wants to tax the sale of every bullet and firearm - an effort even she acknowledges could spark a legal challenge.<br /> <br /> Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will submit a budget proposal Thursday that calls for a tax of a nickel for each bullet and $25 for each firearm sold in the nation's second-largest county, which encompasses Chicago.<br /> <br /> Preckwinkle's office estimates the tax will generate about $1 million a year, money that would be used for various county services including medical care for gunshot victims. Law enforcement officials would not have to pay the tax, but the office said it would apply to 40 federally licensed gun dealers in the county.<br /> <br /> Through last week, the city reported 409 homicides this year compared to 324 during the same period in 2011. Although the violence still doesn't approach the nearly 900 homicides a year Chicago averaged in the 1990s, officials say gang violence was largely to blame for a rash of shootings earlier this year.<br /> <br /> Preckwinkle insists the ordinance is far more about addressing gun violence than raising money for a county that faces a deficit of more than $100 million next year.<br /> <br /> "We think that's an appropriate thing to do, especially in the light of the gun violence we struggle to deal with in our criminal justice system and our public health system," she told a local newspaper editorial board this week, according to a transcript of the meeting provided by her office. "The legal gun shops in suburban Cook County are a conduit for crimes in Chicago. There's no way around it."<br /> <br /> Preckwinkle declined to speak with The Associated Press ahead of the announcement Thursday, but her spokeswoman Kristen Mack confirmed the details of the plan.<br /> <br /> Mack said the office has found no other jurisdiction in the nation that has imposed a tax on bullets, even though several have considered it. Legislation on such a tax was previously introduced by state lawmakers in Springfield, but it was never been voted on, she said.<br /> <br /> Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, scoffs at such talk, saying the tax wouldn't do anything to address gang violence but would harm local businesses and law-abiding citizens.<br /> <br /> "If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs," he said. "All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin."<br /> <br /> One suburban gun shop owner agreed, saying that his customers, many of whom are hunters and police officers, will simply go elsewhere.<br /> <br /> "Who's going to come to Tinley Park to buy ammunition," said Fred Lutger, the owner of Freddie Bear Sport in that suburban Chicago community.<br /> <br /> And, said Lutger of that money going toward treating gunshot victims, "Why should be paying for gang bangers shooting each other? You're taxing law-abiding citizens for what criminals are doing."<br /> <br /> Gun rights advocates spent years challenging in court Chicago's handgun ban, which was ultimately overturned in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court.<br /> <br /> Lutger said a lawsuit was certain. Pearson said he and others started talking about a legal challenge as soon as they heard Preckwinkle was considering the tax.<br /> <br /> Even Preckwinkle seemed resigned to a legal challenge in her comments to the newspaper board.<br /> <br /> "You can't make decisions based on the basis of whether or not somebody's going to sue you or then you'll never do anything," she said.<br />
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Budget battle sends mixed signals on health care
Confused about the federal budget struggle? So are doctors, hospital administrators and other medical professionals who serve the 100 million Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
6:20PM ( 2 years ago )
Politics
Hawaii's Big Island under tropical storm watch as Ignacio is upgraded to Category 4 hurricane
HONOLULU (AP) — The Big Island of Hawaii is bracing for high winds, heavy rain and ocean swells of up to 20 feet as strengthening Hurricane Ignacio approaches the state.Ignacio has grown to a Category...
6:52PM ( 40 minutes ago )
At events both somber and raucous, Gulf Coast marks 10th Katrina anniversary, looks to future
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As the church bells rang marking the decade since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the 80-year-old woman wept softly into a tissue as she leaned against her rusting Oldsmobi...
6:38PM ( 55 minutes ago )
US immigration patterns shift: India, China outpacing Mexico as more skilled workers arrive
DALLAS (AP) — Siddharth Jaganath wanted to return to India after earning his master's degree at Texas' Southern Methodist University. Instead, he built a new life in the U.S. over a decade, becoming a...
6:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Fed Vice Chair Fischer leaves door open for a Sept. rate hike, saying inflation likely to rise
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer left the door open Saturday for a Fed rate increase in September, saying the factors that have kept inflation below the central bank's t...
4:31PM ( 3 hours ago )
Experts: GOP candidates' tough talk doesn't always square with facts of US-China relationship
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — If there was ever a week for the Republican presidential candidates to talk tough on China, this was it: Spurred by the stock market's wild ride, they lashed out at the world's most populous nation.
9:34PM ( 21 hours ago )