HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A lawmaker is proposing a 35 percent tax on ammunition sales in an effort to prevent and reduce gun violence on city streets.

State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest held a news conference Thursday morning about her proposal, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Stream the entire news conference here.

Gilchrest said her bill would use the sales tax to fund gun violence protection.

"That the general statutes be amended to establish an excise tax on gross earnings derived from the first sale of ammunition within this state at the rate of thirty-five per cent per round," the proposal states.

She said the legislation could help schools, community groups, and even hospitals to reduce violence and help survivors.

"We are with the families. We are with the young people that are actually shot. We are on the prevention side," said Deborah Davis, of Mothers United Against Violence.

The plan, if approved, would put a 35 percent tax on ammunition sales, generating about $7 million. For example, if someone purchased $100 worth of ammunition, there could be a tax of $35.

"They're spending as much as $27 million in Oakland, California, which is the size of our four cities. We could be asking for a lot more," Gilchrest said.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League provided a comment to Channel 3 on Thursday afternoon:

"Those who legally purchase ammunition in Connecticut have already been fingerprinted and background checked at the municipal, state and federal levels," said Holly Sullivan, president, CCDL. "The proposed legislation will not prevent any criminal from illegally obtaining guns or ammunition that has intent to commit violent crimes. A 35 percent tax on ammunition would put more people at risk. Lower income individuals who typically live in more dangerous neighborhoods will likely be priced out the most effective means of gun safety which is target practice and developing safe handling skills. These residents will be disproportionately impacted by this tax. CCDL is calling into question whether or not the real reason for this bill is based on contempt for the 2nd Amendment. Representative Gilchrest must realize the result of who would actually be impacted.”

Those who are working on the streets to help young people say gun violence is terrorizing communities and is a public health issue.

"In cities like Hartford, gun violence is very heavy. There are gun shots that happen where our young people who are laying in our beds, where gun shots are going through their windows,” said Ayesha Clarke, of Compass Youth Collaborative.

The finance committee must vote to approve the proposal, and then there would be a public hearing.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(20) comments


People will buy their ammo before the tax starts.


CCDL is a big joke. Little scardy cats who would run away from a real confrontation.[sneaky]

Well Educated Liberal

How about ZERO percent tax and lock up anyone that has a gun! Seize their assets and give it to those in need. Once Bernie is president, kiss your guns goodbye, trailer trash!.

#Sanders/Buttigieg2020 #OkBoomer #HillaryisMYPresident #I'mStillWithHer #neverdrumpf #resist #impeach #LockHimUp #FreedomFromReligion #BanAllGuns #PositivelyBlue #VoteBlueNoMatterWho


Liberal logic: Go soft on crime, let everybody out of prison for the sake of diversity and then take people's ability to defend themselves from criminals away by taking their guns. Great strategy! For getting Trump re-elected! lol




Once again the Democrats in this state are attempting punishing legal gun owners. A 35% tax (outrageous) on ammunition is going to do nothing about gun violence. Illegal guns and ammunition should be dealt with before you go after legal gun owners who respect the laws.Go after the gangs who are the main suppliers of these items. Or how about taxing parents who don't monitor what their kids are doing or where they are and who they're hanging around with. Kids join gangs to feel like they are part of something and to feel wanted. Why aren't they getting that feeling at home? The family breakdown is the problem not the guns but I guess that's too hard a problem to solve for the Dems so they think that taxing law abiding citizens is much easier. As for me I am sick of the Democrat run government in CT all they want is to do is tax more and fix nothing. Once again the Do-Nothing Dems.


Punishing legal gun owners is not the answer. How about you fine the parents of every juvenile delinquent caught in possession of a stolen hand gun $10,000? Perhaps then these people will take some interest in raising their offspring properly.


When has a tax EVER saved a life?

Besides which punitive taxes are unconstitutional, besides which I have 20k rounds.


Another dope like Murphy and Blumenthal. Ridiculous laws don't make people safer. Enforcement of existing laws do. Don't worry Connecticut, the Democrats will think for you. They know what's good for you.


This is the reason people and businesses are flocking from CT, and whether the Democrat in the LG building has been there for a long while, or a short time like Rep Gilchrest, it’s all the same tax policy. Taxing ammunition, which can be had in any other state for much less if the excise tax is approved, is just plain dumb. Getting elected in the pure Blue elitist town of West Hartford with a whopping ~7200 votes does not make you important; any Democrat will win in your venue. I read her release and “if one life is saved it is worth it” comment and laughed out loud. If that’s your purpose – why not put the same excise tax on your wine? Scotch? Beer? We all know that many more lives are taken annually in CT, and across the nation, by alcohol than Guns. Like the tax on Tobacco, which has had a relatively small impact on its use, it will only serve to drive business out of the state, and create a second class citizen society to your elitist superior public servant view. Taxing individual products based on you political view is not only reckless, but also a strong sign of a person who can’t think beyond the surface. How about finding ways to help fund our crumbling infrastructure, or to fight against the CT Opioid crisis, or high gas prices and taxes? Maybe you could focus on solving the Pension crisis, the teachers’ pension issues that will cause West Hartford to have a tax burden thrust upon them that will push Seniors out of town. There are a million problems in CT – and as a Rep you chose this? Pathetic. BTW – going to a firing range and practicing, shooting competitively, or just sending some time with a friend or family member is bothering nobody, is a Constitutional right. Burdening families or individuals who enjoy this right with an excise tax is wrong, as I’m sure the majority of you colleagues will identify.. CT is the Constitution state if you recall from 3rd grade.


Good take.


Regressive leftist garbage. Lower income people are hit the hardest. Like always.




Stick that where the sun dont shine, pinko.

Brian C. Duffy

There is no Constitutional right to use a gun recreationally, any more than there is a right to use a golf club recreationally. You need to read the Heller decision.

Brian Duffy


Wrong on the facts, and wrong on the law. Your read is just plain, well, wrong (as usual).

Brian C. Duffy

Real name with real facts. You have neither. Do you even know what the Heller decision is? I'll happily debate the 2nd Amendment with anyone who uses their real name.

Brian Duffy ~ Tariffville, CT


Debate being the operative word, Brian, if that's your name, but who really cares in this venue? The law is interpretive, as is this article, individual statements, the 2nd amendment, Heller, MCDonald, and so on. Challenging somebody to a debate on any of the above in Ch3's comment board? Lol....Maybe you've had a few too many using the free wifi at the Cracker Barrel.

Brian C. Duffy

You're not accountable Sun, you could be anyone here. You could have unlimited screen names, you could be Well Educated Liberal here (he/she is as useless as you are). As a matter of fact, there could just be two of here posting, me alone and all of you. WFSB (and all other media for that matter) should not allow anonymous commenting. It just adds to the useless digital detritus of today. I'm an easy guy to find in Tariffville - can't use wifi at CB 'cause I don't own a cell phone (or a gun). What are you afraid of? We big bad liberals who don't own guns are real scary now aren't we? Have some integrity and self respect. I might know you and then that would be embarrassing wouldn't it?

I stand by my Heller comments, read Scalia's opinion (or "interpretation" if you prefer). No rights are unlimited.

Brian Duffy



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