SACRAMENTO, California — As lawmakers rush to get their bills to the governor's desk this week, one bill may impose an 11% tax on gun dealers and makers in an effort to curb gun violence in the state.
"Guns are the leading cause of death of kids in the United States. It's not car accidents, it's not cancer, it's not disease, it's guns," said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D).
As a dad of three, Democrat Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel was inspired to write Assembly Bill 28, which would tax gun dealers and manufacturers 11%.
"This is not a tax on individual consumers. The gun, firearms industry in the United States has been enjoying record profits," said Assemblymember Gabriel.
Gabriel says the tax is expected to generate $160 million annually for the state which would go toward programs to reduce the cycles of gun violence.
"We think that it's fair to ask the gun industry to pay a very, very modest amount to support these life-saving programs, school safety measures — money that will go to our local law enforcement to remove guns from domestic abusers, convicted criminals," he said.
AB28 is on its way to the governor's desk, but Republican Assemblymember Tom Lackey is urging the governor to veto this bill, believing it would hurt law-abiding gun owners.
"It just makes it more difficult for them to acquire self-protection, right? I mean, that's protected by the Second Amendment," he said.
Assemblymember Lackey said targeting the gun is the wrong answer to try to curb the violence, adding that the focus should be on consequences for bad behavior.
"When there's very little risk, there's going to be more misconduct. That's not hard to figure out. But yet, we don't get it here," he said.
Lackey adds that this is an attack on those who are following the rules.
"I don't know why we keep attacking those who have proven to not be a threat," said Assemblymember Lackey.
However, Assemblymember Gabriel said this is the answer to saving lives and could be an example for the rest of the country.
"We're number one in gun safety because of our strong gun safety laws. That's something we're all very proud of," he said.
If Governor Gavin Newsom signs the bill into law, it will be implemented next summer.