Right Hooks

If You Can't Ban Guns, Tax 'Em

Obama probably wishes he could pull off what the Mariana Islands did.

Political Editors · Apr. 11, 2016

In seeming retaliation for a federal judge striking down the Mariana Islands’ handgun ban — the last ban of its kind in the nation — the legislature for the U.S. territory floating in the farthest reaches of the Pacific Ocean instituted a $1,000 tax on any handgun sold there. The legislature also established gun-free zones, waiting periods, regulations on the way U.S. citizens should store firearms — the whole works in an effort to stem the number of handguns that may flow into the islands. Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb said, “This is definitely a case of the power to tax is a power to destroy a right. Most people in the [Mariana Islands] cannot afford this tax and will not be able to exercise their rights.” If the islands’ governor signs this bill, expect a constitutional challenge to the burdensome regulation. Meanwhile, the Obama administration probably wishes it could pull off what the Islands just did. Indeed, it may prove to be little more than a test case for the mainland.

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