California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law an 11 percent tax on guns and ammunition Tuesday, describing the gun control measure as a “sin tax.”
On August 23, 2023, Breitbart News reported that California Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D) was pushing legislation to create the 11 percent excise tax on firearm and ammunition sales in the state.
He touted the bill as means to bring nearly $160 million in annual revenue for the state government. Former Assemblyman Marc Levine (D) voiced support for Gabriel’s excise tax because California is “facing a $31.5 billion budget gap,” the Sacramento Bee noted.
Newsom signed the new tax into law on Tuesday, and explained his view on it during a question and answer session afterwards.
A reporter pointed out that Newsom has opposed tax increases in the past and asked Newsom why he supported this one.
Newsom responded, “For me this is a little different. This is an excise tax related to gun safety. It funds mental health services, funds school safety programs…I see this a little bit differently, in that context. This is not a general income tax, not a corporate tax, this is…from my perspective, more of a sin tax, where there is a cause and effect and justification.”
Another reporter asked what Newsom has to say to those who say he should be fighting gun violence out of the general fund instead of creating a new tax.
Newsom said, “I respectfully disagree, and my signature represents that disagreement.”