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Democrat wants the IRS to pay Americans who hand over firearms

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Unread 04.06.15, 10:44 PM
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Democrat wants the IRS to pay Americans who hand over firearms

04.06.15 12:08 PM

A Democratic lawmaker says there is “no reason on Earth” for assault weapon ownership and has introduced legislation that would give tax breaks to Americans who turn their firearms over to the federal government.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut introduced the SAFER (Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education for our) Streets Act Monday.

The SAFER Streets Act, which DeLauro previously introduced during the 113th Congress, would create a $2,000 refundable tax credit that could be redeemed by assault weapon owners who handed firearms over to law enforcement.

“Just days after the Newtown tragedy, President Obama asked ĎAre we doing enough to protect our children?í And he admitted the answer is no. That must change,” DeLauro said in a statement. “The SAFER Streets Act is a common-sense, constructive step to help ensure such a tragedy will never happen again. This bill would get more assault weapons off the streets. ”

DeLauro insists that getting so-called assault weapons off the nation’s streets is a public health concern, which explains her decision to announce new SAFER Streets legislation Monday at the start of National Public Health Week.

“Assault weapons are not about hunting, or even self-defense. There is no reason on Earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for a battlefield,” she said. “These weapons were used in Newtown, Aurora and countless other mass shootings across America. And they have been disproportionately used to kill law enforcement officers in the line of duty. They have no place on the streets or in our homes.”

DeLauro’s bill would create a federalized, taxpayer-funded buyback program for so-called assault weapons via the tax system. But it isn’t the first time congressional Democrats have asked that the federal government be put into the business of buying guns from cash-strapped Americans.

In December 2012, in the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Connecticut, Democratic lawmakers attempted to set aside $200 million to initiate a federal firearm buyback program.

In a letter to congressional leaders, the Democratic lawmakers touted the plan as a potential economic help to U.S. states, writing: “Distributing funding to the states to run buyback programs using prepaid debit cards with a three-month expiration date could provide a jolt to local economies that have stagnated in the wake of the recession and concerns over the fiscal cliff.”

The lawmakers suggested that the federal buyback should resemble buybacks that have occurred on the local level in cities throughout the nation for years.

Because government-sponsored gun buybacks affect mostly people who are totally indifferent about guns in the first place, many 2nd Amendment supporters don’t feel too threatened by them.

The major flaw to the gun buyback model is simple: A person struggling to afford food may be willing to hand over a never-used .22 pistol sitting in a hall closet in return for a $200 voucher, but most criminals arenít interested in the programs. The same problem would apply at the federal level as well as with DeLauro’s lofty tax-break scheme (in fact, her bill mandates that weapons turned over be “lawfully possessed”).

The prevailing attitude for most gun rights supporters is that as long as the buybacks arenít mandatory, they’re not really a threat.

The SAFER Streets Act, however, should give pause to firearms enthusiasts because it, even if only in a minor way, ties firearm ownership to the tax code.

The post Democrat wants the IRS to pay Americans who hand over firearms appeared first on Personal Liberty.

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