The war on the Second Amendment is becoming all about cost.
Realizing it’s far easier to make exercising one’s Second Amendment right prohibitively expensive than it is to revoke that right entirely, liberals across America are finding ways to increase the cost of gun ownership.
“This is about … pricing people out of their constitutional right to have a concealed carry permit”
California is the latest state to jack up the cost of freedom beyond the reach of the average American. The California Assembly sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday which would allow cities and counties to raise the cost of concealed carry permits beyond their current $100 limit.
The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), who claimed it was merely a way to help local governments balance their budgets. Republican opponents, however, say the move is an obvious attempt to hit the Second Amendment by hitting citizens’ wallets.
“What this is about [is] pricing people out of their constitutional right to have a concealed carry permit,” said Assemblywoman Melissa Melende (R-Lake Elsinore). And indeed, McCarty just so happens to represent the same county of which Scott Jones is sheriff. Jones has been one of the state’s most prolific issuers of concealed carry permits, granting them by the thousands.
“The whole point that I have tried to make in my book, ‘The War On Guns,’ is that there has been a systematic effort to make it more expensive for law-abiding citizens to purchase guns,” said John Lott, director of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
For example, Lott said, “background checks in D.C. cost $125.” Lott noted that this disproportionately affects “poor blacks in high crime urban areas,” who can’t afford to legally purchase the protection they need. “The background check system itself is essentially racist,” he noted.
California and Washington, D.C. are not the only governments to try to make gun ownership too expensive for the common man — and raising concealed carry permit and background check application fees is not the only way to do so. In 2002, New Jersey passed a law which mandated that every firearm in the state must have smart gun technology within three years of the first retail of a smart gun anywhere in the U.S. Recently the state legislature passed a separate law, vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie, which required gun stores to start stocking smart guns.
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As part of its executive action on gun control, the Obama administration announced it is working with state and local law enforcement agencies to draft preliminary guidelines for smart gun use in law enforcement that could influence how manufacturers produce weapons for that market.
But smart gun technology is absurdly expensive — and these costs would inevitably be passed on to the consumer. Firearms company Mossberg has developed some of the most promising smart-gun technology and implanted it in a shotgun.
However, the company estimates it would need $5 million to build 25 to 30 handguns for testing and another $15 million could launch it into full production. If each prototype costs $200,000 to make, one can only imagine the future retail price tag.
If gun grabbers can’t find ways to make buying guns prohibitively expensive, they find ways to make making guns prohibitively expensive. Hillary Clinton has pledged to make gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed using their products. This would open up the manufacturers to frivolous lawsuits that could drive many out of business.
Obama’s State Department issued Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) regulations which treat small independent gunsmiths like major firearms manufacturers. These independent gunsmithing operations are often as small as one man in his garage doing the occasional work — but they will now have to pay the same $2,250 annual fee as if they were Springfield, Colt, or Ruger. Requiring these individuals and small businesses to pay $2,250 each year will drive many of them out of business or onto the black market.
The Left has learned that the best way to stop people from exercising a right is to make doing so prohibitively expensive.