Even as President Joe Biden and other Democratic Party leaders pursue new gun control policies, one state is taking steps to counteract their impact.
According to reports, Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) has signed a new law effectively giving residents more robust Second Amendment rights.
Tax breaks for gun manufacturers
The governor signed H.R. 2499, which removes the state’s 6% sales tax on firearms and ammunition. The provision will go into effect in July and also offers some perks for the firearms industry.
According to Bearing Arms, the bill provides “tax incentives on the cost of equipment for manufacturing small arms and ammo” while lowering the property tax rate for companies establishing gun and ammunition manufacturing facilities in West Virginia.
The bill includes another provision for such manufacturers that allows them to offset state taxes with their federal excise tax bill.
Proponents of the measure are hopeful that the tax advantages will provide an incentive for new firearms-related industries to move into the state.
Justice’s move comes on the heels of Biden’s latest push for stricter gun laws.
Biden’s gun control agenda
House Democrats also passed several gun control measures, including one that would require background checks for virtually all gun sales. The problem they face, however, is advancing such proposals through a U.S. Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.
For his part, the president issued a statement indicating that he is prepared to use executive action to enact certain measures through the U.S. Department of Justice.
In his recent proclamation, Biden said the Justice Department “will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ‘ghost guns,'” or firearms created from kits that do not include traceable serial numbers. The agency was also tasked with issuing “a proposed rule to make clear when a device marked as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.”
Biden also wants the agency to “publish model ‘red flag’ legislation for states” that could allow authorities to remove guns from the possession of individuals deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. He is also hoping that the legislative branch will succeed in banning “assault weapons and high capacity magazines” as well as “repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.”
As Gov. Justice and other Republican leaders across the nation are making clear, however, any such efforts to restrict the right of Americans to bear arms will not succeed without a fierce political fight.