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Reply #43

In the discussion thread: TAX THE AMMO!!! [View all]

Response to rhett o rick (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 10:51 PM

43. Poll taxes were used to prevent a class of citizens from exercising the civil right to vote

At the time they were in use, black people were predomimantly poor and could not afford to pay the tax. As a practical matter, the tax denied them the right to vote and was rightly declared unconstitutional. See attached link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poll_tax_(United_States)

A similar case was decided by the SCOTUS that involved state taxes on newspapers' use of paper and printers ink:
MINNEAPOLIS STAR v. MINNESOTA COMM'R OF REV., 460 U.S. 575 (1983)
460 U.S. 575
MINNEAPOLIS STAR & TRIBUNE CO. v. MINNESOTA COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF MINNESOTA

The SCOTUS held that the tax was an unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of the press and violated the 1st Amendment.

See link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Star_%26_Tribune_Co._v._Minnesota_Comm%27r_of_Revenue

To my knowledge, neither the federal government nor any state have imposed an exorbinant tax on ammunition as a way of restricting the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights, so there is no legal precedent to cite. The tax described in the OP would do just that, i.e. use the power to tax in order to deny a class of citizens (gun owners) their civil rights. In that respect, it would be no different than a poll tax. It's hard to see how the SCOTUS, especially this one, would find such a restriction constitutional given that taxes levied on the exercise of other constitutional rights have been struck down.

The OP's tax would almost certainly be challenged in court. How would you defend it?

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