Clear Thinking About Taxing Guns

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Clear Thinking About Taxing Guns IMG iStock-1172423251

U.S.A. –-( We are strange creatures. We see the world and build mental models of how the world works. Soon, those models become more significant to us than reality itself. That is dangerous when so much of our “experience” is from the news and entertainment media. We think our tiny screens show us what is really happening in the world. We want to be careful about what we put into our heads.

Here in the USA, there are over a million violent crimes a year. The vast majority of them do not involve the criminal using a gun. At the same time, honest citizens like us defend ourselves with a firearm over a million times. Each year criminals also kill a few thousand people with a firearm. Mass murderers kill a few hundred of us. That isn’t what we see on our small screens.

The media inverts those proportions. We might think that mass murder is common and armed defense is rare. That lets special interests with a political agenda play on our distorted view of reality. That distortion is dangerous for all of us.

Three states recently passed constitutional carry legislation. That means that people who legally own a gun are allowed to carry their gun in public without asking for a permit and paying a tax. The new law won’t change how armed criminals behave since criminals who were not allowed to own a gun were already carrying their guns illegally. Breaking the law is what criminals do every day. Our gun laws disarmed the people who obey the law, and now we’ve reduced those infringements on honest people in three more states.

Now that constitutional carry passed, more law-abiding citizens will carry a legally owned firearm in public and at home. That makes life harder for criminals since the thugs don’t know if their intended victims are armed. The criminal’s uncertainty makes all of us safer. We are safer if we choose to carry a personal firearm and if we choose to go unarmed.

I studied the effects of concealed carry licensing across the United States. As you’d expect, fewer of us get our license to carry as that license becomes more expensive and more time-consuming. What surprised and pleased me was that more of us take firearms training when the costs of a license go down.

That sounds counterintuitive from one point of view. If we drop the state mandate to take a firearms training class then more of us will take a class? I see why you could be skeptical.

Now consider another perspective. The state not only required a class, but they taxed us if we wanted to have a carry permit. No one would be surprised if more of us got firearms training if the state gave us a few hundred dollars. That is what happens when licensing fees decrease. We were able to spend our safety budget on firearms training rather than on paying state taxes and fees. We’re wealthier because the state isn’t taxing us as much, and now we can afford to take more firearms safety training.

That isn’t what the anti-gun Democrat politicians told us would happen. They said that blood would flow in the streets. They say the same thing each time a state considers removing the taxes and regulations on honest people who want to defend themselves with a personal firearm.

Whether we believe the politicians or not depends on the models of human behavior we carry in our heads.

Ask yourself if these anti-gun politicians were right. Did disarming the law-abiding victims make us safer? We already have over 23 thousand firearms regulations. In contrast, there were 21 states that already allowed ordinary citizens to carry a firearm in public without a permit. When you listen to the news and hear stories of violent crime, are those stories from states where honest citizens are armed or from states where honest citizens have been disarmed? Does the disarmament model actually make us safer?

It is nearly impossible to get a carry permit in parts of California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and in Maryland. Cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Springfield, Camden, and Baltimore are some of our most violent cities. If disarming honest citizens made us safer then we should see the results on the nightly news. What do you see?

We all want to stop violent criminals. Some people decided that guns were bad so they passed laws that disarmed the people who obey the law. I think that model of human behavior is incomplete. I like it when the good guys can defend themselves. That happens over a million times a year. I think that model of human behavior gives us better results than disarming the victims.

There is a bit of good news that we don’t see reported yet. We are not all the same. Some of us were able to pay the thousand-dollar tax in order to protect our families with a firearm. Many of us couldn’t afford that much. Removing some of the fees and regulations on armed defense means that more of us can now afford a gun and self-defense training. More of us will be armed at home and in public. Fewer of us will be unarmed victims. More poor people can defend themselves from violent criminals.

That helps the people who need help the most. I like that, and so do most of you.

About Rob Morse

The original article, with sources, is posted here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse


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Wrong. Constitutional carry doesn’t “allow” citizens to do squat. No one “allows” us to carry weapons. It is our right, and we exercise it, whether a state or the fed argues that it is legal or not matters little. We exercise our rights, and sometimes the gov correctly recognizes the right, and sometimes the gov Unconstitutionally and Criminally claims it is illegal.


Exactly! Besides, there’s not a single state that has constitutional carry. There are some that have permitless carry but they all still dictate who, what, when, where, and how people carry.

Deplorable Bill

The second amendment IS my permit to carry. The answer to a bad guy with a gun is and has always been a good guy with a gun. Government is not the answer to the problem, the government IS the problem. GOD gave mankind the right to defend himself, his loved ones, friends, neighbors etc. HE gave mankind the right to keep and bear arms. Our declaration of independence explains why mankind fights against tyranny. Yamamoto, the man who planed the raid on Perl Harbor was asked why he did not invade the U.S. mainland. He said “There would be… Read more »

Knute Knute

“The answer to a bad guy with a gun…” True. At least for as long as there has been firearms. Before that the only answer to a bad man was a bigger sword, or a better club. But in the days of hand-to-hand combat, the bigger and more powerful had a serious advantage. Normal folk had little choice but to roll over for any bad man that came along, unless they could afford to hire an even bigger man-at-arms of their own. Early firearms didn’t change that metric too much, since they were single shot, slow to reload, cumbersome, expensive,… Read more »


Very correct in your description of why owning a gun is necessary. Also, a good description of the Criminal Class of people. Unfortunately, many of the Criminal Class has obtained a foothold on the streets and also in the political arena. These Anti-American TYRANNICAL “permanite practicing political politicians” need to be WEEDED OUT! I hope and pray enough American Citizens WAKE UP to the ONGOING ATTEMPTED COUP Against America!


Taxes, fees and other unreasonable impediments to the exercise of an enumerated Natural Right are the foundation of Jim Crow. And here is a dirty secret. In the jurisdictions you mention as ‘shall not issue’ you can get a Concealed carry Permit, for a price. In many California ‘may issue’ counties the right check to the right Sheriff campaign fund gets you appointed as a special deputy or reserve officer. Badge,gun. Cha-ching. This is a matter of record in at least three Federal District Courts in California. The same is true in the other states. The poor, the urban, the… Read more »


Rights are God giving at birth not something we purchase from the government by paying taxes . FJB and all the corrupt politicians accross the country on both sides of the aisle. I refuse to buy my rights to bare arms from corrupt money grubbing politicians .


M454 – if you are gonna “bare arms” make sure to use sun screen. NOT picking on ya (much) but those dastardly ‘homophones’ get a lot of us in trouble ‘-)


Our country is getting everything this administration promised Bidens words “I see a different America”. The worst economic crisis since our economy is failing at the fastest rate we’ve seen in nearly 40 years.Supply chain issues, That’s why about 99 percent of working people pay higher taxes on everything we buy. Why would his policy on firearms be any different.


In came Biden and out of America we go. China IS the problem. Biden and his crime syndicate family have sold out and according to Peter Scwhiezer, in Red Handed, the number of ex-military, former members of congress, the Clintons, the Bushes,and on and on since Kissinger started this new wave of supporting and making big money from China, we have been targeted forever for eradication. It is up to us and us only.


Yes sir I totally agree China is America’s number one enemy Dianne Feinstein & husband took to doing business before our country deemed it legal to do business with communist China. This is how the 545 elected keep getting rich while working in Washington DC. I am not saying Richard Blum was bad person he used his wife influence as a smart businessman which opened the door for others to do business in a communist country. In 1980 he married Diane when she was mayor of san francisco. Today their narrative, Russia Russia for the past 6 years We see… Read more »


Sir, if you have not read Red Handed, I suggest you and anyone else interested in what is going on right mow, take the time to check it out. Mind blowing…………………


You hit the nail on the head Rob. What so many are afraid to say should be said more often and that is: the old wild west days were changed for the betterment of society when people put down their arms to let government provide protection for them and the proof is clear that it did not work even with the addition of thousands of useless laws that only apply to a law-abiding people. We need to bring back the Old West and let people protect themselves while having law enforcement enforce actions on any illegal kills which is what… Read more »


there is one thing i see that i disagree with, when there is more armed law abiding people the criminals are more careful in choosing targets . look for lawn signs for anti democrats or bumper stickers of the same type. they want to take stuff not die for it.


We could pay off the national debt if the government was taxed per word when they print their budget.


Rob Morse,
I do believe you put a bee in their bonnets.