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Illinois Supreme Court Rules Tax on Guns and Ammo is Unconstitutional

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The Illinois Supreme Court has delivered a significant victory for gun rights and 2nd Amendment advocates.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Cook County’s tax on guns and ammunition is unconstitutional and violates law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment right to acquire firearms for self-defense.

In a 6-0 decision, Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote that the taxes violate the constitution’s uniformity clause, while also pointing out that the revenue from the generated tax isn’t directed toward funds or programs that reduce gun violence.

“While the taxes do not directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to use a firearm for self-defense, they do directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to acquire a firearm and the necessary ammunition for self-defense,” Theis wrote.

“Under the plain language of the ordinances, the revenue generated from the firearm tax is not directed to any fund or program specifically related to curbing the cost of gun violence,” she noted. “Additionally, nothing in the ordinance indicates that the proceeds generated from the ammunition tax must be specifically directed to initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence.”

“In 2012, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a $25 tax on the retail purchase of a firearm within the county. The county’s Firearm Tax Ordinance was enacted in April 2013. A separate county tax was enacted in 2015, which added $0.05 per cartridge for centerfire ammunition and $0.01 per cartridge for rimfire ammunition. Americans who fail to pay those taxes are subject to a $1,000 fine for the first offense and a $2,000 fine for subsequent offenses,” The Epoch Times reported.

“The trade group and gun-rights organization, Guns Save Life, challenged both taxes in a lawsuit against the county, saying they violate the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. A spokesman for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said on Thursday they are disappointed in the ruling and will work to determine the next steps,” the report added.

Over the summer, the state of Missouri held firm in its fight against the Biden administration over conceivably un-Constitutional executive orders.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt vowed to “fight tooth and nail” to prevent the Biden administration from imposing laws that infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton sent a letter to Parson and Schmitt warning about enforcing state law and superseding federal gun control laws. Boynton said that actions Missouri takes could cost the state from receiving continued federal aid and assistance.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, the Missouri governor and AG responded to threats from the Biden administration who warned the state against penalizing state law enforcement officers who enforce certain federal gun laws. Parson signed a law on June 14 that will hold laws enforcement agencies liable for up to $50,000 per officer that violates the Second Amendment rights of Missourians by enforcing federal gun laws.

“Missourians’ and Americans’ Second Amendment rights are enshrined in the Constitution – I will defend those rights at every turn,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Our letter to Biden’s Department of Justice sends a clear message: we will fight any attempts from the federal government to encroach on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

“The Second Amendment Preservation Act is about protecting law-abiding Missourians against government overreach and unconstitutional federal mandates,” Parson said in a statement.

He added: “We will reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property. Throughout my career, I have always stood for the Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and that will not change today or any day.”

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