Hillary Clinton has yet to face questioning about her strong, personal endorsement of a 25 percent national sales tax on guns, a position she staked out in passionate Senate testimony in 1993. Clinton frequently criticizes Bernie Sanders for his 1993 vote against the Brady Bill yet fails to mention her advocacy for a steep new gun tax, which would be of no help to New Hampshire’s 6,000 firearms and ammunition jobs.
Clinton says there is a “big difference” between her and Sanders on the gun issue.
Clinton was asked by then-Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) if she supported the imposition of a new, 25 percent national sales tax on guns. Clinton emphatically endorsed the tax, stating: "I am all for that."
As reported by the Associated Press on Oct. 1, 1993:
Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., picked up Mrs. Clinton's support for his idea of slapping stiff taxes on ''purveyors of violence:'' a 25 percent sales tax on guns and $2,500 license fees for gun dealers.
''Speaking personally ... I'm all for that,'' said the first lady. But she stressed she was just speaking for herself.
''Well, let me say that there is no more important personal endorsement in the country today, and I thank you very much,'' said a pleased-as-punch Bradley.
After she publicly endorsed the 25 percent gun tax in congressional testimony, she made sure that everyone understood how important this was to her, saying: "I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that."
Remarkably, although the hearing was broadcast on C-SPAN and Clinton's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was noted at the time by the AP, the Washington Post, the New York Times and others, a search of leading news databases reveals not a single media mention since 1993.
On the day of the Finance Committee hearing, NBC Nightly News reported the 25 percent gun tax incident as follows:
NBC: "Others urge a hefty sales tax on guns, and much higher fees for gun dealers. Today, they got a powerful ally."
Clinton: "I'm all for that. I just don't know what else we're going to do to try to figure out how to get some handle on this violence."
NBC: "Hillary Clinton added that's only her personal opinion."
The Bill Clinton White House made it clear that Hillary's 25 percent gun tax endorsement was all hers, as shown by the Oct. 1, 1993 White House press briefing transcript:
Q: "Do you know if the President supports the First Lady's endorsement of an idea yesterday by Senator Bradley that there be a 25 percent tax on the sale of guns in America?"
WH Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers: "Well, as you know, she was expressing her opinion."
Hillary Clinton needs to be called out for her support of the tax and what it might mean to New Hampshire’s vital firearms and ammunition industry. As reported by New Hampshire Public Radio in 2013:
According to an industry-funded report, around 2,100 Granite Staters work in jobs directly related to firearms and ammunition. But when you add in suppliers and other jobs on the periphery, that number shoots up to about 6,000.
As New Hampshire Public Radio notes, these are well-paying jobs:
The wages for floor workers here can go up to about $25 an hour. In Sullivan County, where the median wage is about $13,000 dollars lower than the state as a whole, it’s hard to overestimate how important Sturm, Ruger is to the area.
So let’s hear it, Hillary, how will your gun tax help New Hampshire’s economy?
- Oct. 1, 1993 Washington Post Article
- Oct. 1, 1993 Associated Press Article
- Nov. 4, 1993 New York Times Article
- Sept. 30, 1993 Finance Committee Hearing Transcript
- Sept. 30, 1993 C-SPAN Coverage of Finance Committee Hearing
- Oct. 1, 1993 White House Press Briefing Transcript