Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chicago Wants To Tax Handgun Owners

Like $15 per firearm registered, and $100 every three years for a Chicago Firearms Permit.  Well, we used to have poll taxes in this country, which you had to pay to vote (and at least partly aimed at the same group that Chicago's law is aimed at: black people).  While it took an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to abolish poll taxes as a condition of voting in national elections, in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) the U.S. Supreme Court struck down poll taxes in state elections as violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment--and uses "fundamental right" to describe the right to vote. 

I think there's an argument here that the right to keep and bear arms is even more fundamental than the right to vote.  Voting is limited to citizens, while "right of the people" is considerably broader.


  1. Yabbut firearms ownership, like voting, seems to be legitimately barred to minors, the demented, and convicted felons.

    Thus the extent of the right seems very similar.

    I do note something else. Exercising one's vote imposes an expense on the community: ballots, polling places, voting machines, election judges, registrars, the clerks who maintain the voter rolls. However, SCotUS has ruled that no part of this expense can be laid on the voter by a poll tax.

    This implies that if RKBA is an equally fundamental right, the public costs of its exercise must be born by the public. (Public costs being costs of registration, licensing, and such.)

    Private costs are still private, i.e. the cost of guns and ammo, but under this doctrine the state should not have the power to impose additional costs. The cost of G&A could be a one time cost, or the G&A might have been a gift or inheritance. The citizen does not have to, and should not be forced to, spend a penny more, to be armed than to vote.

  2. Look at it this way--if it starts to be revenue positive they'll look for a way to get MORE people doing it.

    nah. They'd just raise the fees.