Joe Biden would force semiautomatic rifle owners to either participate in a gun buyback program, or register their firearm under the National Firearms Act, which requires the payment of a $200 tax. This would extend to AR-15s and other common household rifles. Those who do not comply would face up to 10 years in federal prison, and a potential $10,000 fine.
This is yet another violation of Joe Biden's pledge against any tax increase on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.
As detailed on Biden’s campaign website, “Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.” This triggers the $200 tax.
In order to register a firearm (or a magazine, under Joe Biden's plan), you have to send in a 13-page, complicated application form with the $200 tax included, your fingerprints, and a photograph of yourself. In this way, the hurdles to legally own your weapon or high-capacity magazine go far beyond the expensive tax.
Given there are nearly 18 million AR-15s privately owned in the United States, gun owners could potentially be forced to pay a collective $3.6 billion in taxes. This figure doesn’t even include other weapons the left considers “assault weapons” and the additional magazines many gun owners would have to register.
Many families who have already been struggling due to the economic damage done by the coronavirus would find themselves incapable of paying for the ability to practice a constitutional right of theirs.
According to the Biden campaign, any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is a “high capacity” magazine. Even if someone owns only one AR-15, if they have just four standard capacity magazines, they would owe the federal government $1,000.
Suddenly, gun control becomes less about mere firearm ownership and more about controlling working-class Americans. In urban areas, where people are most vulnerable to crime, it’s not hard to imagine how crushing this could be. There is nothing new about leftist politicians taxing urban residents in order to dictate behavior, ownership, and lifestyle.
In poor rural areas, the ability to hunt, fend off dangerous animals, etc. would be especially compromised. In Time Magazine, one article explains that "leaders of 15 state shooting groups said semiautomatic rifles are popular with hunters in their states. Hunters say they favor the gun for its versatility, accuracy and customizable features for shooting animals. The semiautomatic feature, which allows these guns to shoot up to 45 rounds a minute, is not always necessary, but useful in some situations, hunters say. “It’s the most capable tool for the job at this time,” said Eric Mayer, who runs AR15hunter.com. “Bar none. Period. It is.”" This group explains that AR-15s and AR-10s can be effective in hunting feral pigs, feral goats, antelope jackrabbits, elk, coyotes, and deer. In Pennsylvania, where semiautomatic rifles are allowed for hunting, 374,690 deer were harvested in 2019.
Kim Kelly, a labor organizer in Brooklyn, explained the economic implications of this law in the Washington Post: “Regardless of one’s opinion on guns and gun control, it is obvious that this proposal will disproportionately impact poor and working-class communities. Those within those communities who already own firearms would be robbed of their ability to protect themselves and their loved ones, while their wealthier counterparts would skate by on their ready piles of cash… In effect, Biden’s plan sets in motion a “war on guns,” the same way his predecessors declared wars on “poverty,” “crime” and “terror” — wars in which it was inevitably black and brown people who were the real targets."
The $200 gun tax suggests certain assumptions by Biden and other leftist politicians, made about working-class Americans and their ability to responsibly own firearms. The Second Amendment is a right held by all Americans, not just wealthy ones.