The senior executive of the county that includes Chicago dropped a proposed tax on bullets on Wednesday, but kept a plan to tax firearms allegedly to help defray healthcare expenses associated with “gun violence.”
“It is very important to us to tax guns because we know that guns are the sources of the incredible violence we have in our neighborhoods,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told a news conference. She said 29 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago were purchased legally in suburban Cook County.
Under the plan, the county would impose a $25 tax on the purchase of firearms. The tax is expected to raise $600,000 in revenue in 2013. Preckwinkle abandoned a proposed tax of 5 cents a bullet because the tax in some cases would have exceeded the price of ammunition.
If approved by the board, the nation’s third most populous county with nearly 5.2 million residents could be the first major U.S. metropolitan area to impose a tax as a form of gun control, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.