Illinois Supreme Court strikes down county tax on guns, ammo

The Illinois Supreme Court just upheld the Second Amendment in a stunning Thursday ruling.

Breitbart reports that the state high court ruled unanimously that a tax on guns and ammunition out of Illinois’ Cook County is unconstitutional.

The details of the case

The case dates back to 2012, when Cook County officials enacted something that they called a “violence tax.” The idea behind the tax is to levy a special fee on guns and ammunition and to use the revenue gained to help pay for the costs of cracking down on the gun-related violence that Chicago has become known for.

Accordingly, a person looking to buy a firearm from a retailer in Cook County was subjected to a $25 tax.

In addition, a $0.05 tax was placed on the purchase of each centerfire ammunition cartridge, ammunition used mostly for rifles, handguns, and shotguns, and a $0.01 tax was placed on each rimfire ammunition cartridge.

A legal challenge to the law made it all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, which handed down its 6–0 decision in Guns Save Life, Inc., et al., Appellants v. Zahra Ali last week.

A unanimous decision

According to Justice Mary Jane Theis, who wrote the majority opinion, one of the problems with the taxes is that they “directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to acquire a firearm and the necessary ammunition for self-defense.”

Theis also said the revenue didn’t go where Cook County officials claimed it would — namely, to combating gun-related violence. “Under the plain language of the ordinances,” she wrote, “the revenue generated from the firearm tax is not directed to any fund or program specifically related to curbing the cost of gun violence.”

Therefore, Theis concluded that “the firearm and ammunition tax ordinances violate the uniformity clause.”

Now, the case has been remanded to the circuit court “for entry of summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs.”

The same old faulty logic

This case shines light on an oft-used tactic by leftists who want to cut down on gun violence: targeting law-abiding gun owners with unnecessary burdens on their Second Amendment rights. How many examples do liberals need to understand that gun control laws don’t stop criminals from engaging in criminal behavior with guns?

At least the Illinois Supreme Court got this one right.

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