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Capitol Voices

Shall Not Be Infringed — Or Taxed

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Over the last several weeks, politicians on both sides of the aisle have strategically weaponized heartbreaking tragedies in an effort to advance political agendas through illogical and ineffective gun control proposals.


Yet it is foolishly naive to believe their sanctimonious crusade will come to a screeching halt with a few flashy headlines promising change. No, these lawmakers taste blood in the water — and nothing but complete repression of their opponents’ liberties will fill their grossly opportunistic appetite. Big Government Socialists are frantically searching for additional proposals to sink their teeth into before the news cycle becomes numb to their repetitive talking points, synthetic sympathy, and predictable ineptitude. 

Well, it appears liberal lawmakers have now pinpointed a plan to temporarily satisfy their tyrannical hunger.  

Last week, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced legislation to impose a 1,000 percent excise tax on any type of semi-automatic firearm. Under this draconian arrangement, Americans would encounter a $5,000 tax on a $500 gun. 

Oppressive is an understatement. 

The sole purpose of this dictatorial proposal is to weaponize taxation in order to price the Second Amendment out of the reach of average Americans — leaving citizens vulnerable and unable to exercise their inalienable right to keep and bear arms. Our Founding Fathers would roll in their graves at this outrageously unconstitutional proposition. In fact, the Founders deliberately enumerated the Second Amendment to ensure the American people can freely practice their God-given right to protect themselves and their liberties against a tyrannical government. 


By design, the Second Amendment defends Americans from an overbearing government. Yet by disdain, the Second Amendment is under assault by the very government that is responsible for securing these rights.

This is a threat I’ve feared for quite some time, which is why I have actively been working on legislation to stop this tyranny in its tracks. 

I’m proud to formally introduce, along with the support of over 50 of my Republican colleagues, the RETURN (Repealing Excise Tax on Unalienable Rights Now) our Constitutional Rights Act. This legislation would effectively eliminate the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition, because no American should be taxed on their enumerated rights. If the government can tax an individual’s constitutional right, then it’s not really a right at all.

Furthermore, giving liberals an inch will unquestionably lead to them taking a mile — taxing every firearm into oblivion until guns become an unattainable fantasy for hardworking American workers and families. Combined with the Left’s radical calls to defund the police and the federal government’s ever-increasing urge to violate Americans’ constitutional rights, this menacing prospect is a recipe for disaster, lawlessness, and peril.

Make no mistake, behind Democrats’ smoke and mirrors motif of “commonsense gun control” lies their sinister end game of disarming America. In liberals’ utopia, the people are forced to forfeit their constitutional rights in the name of “safety” — leading to citizen subjugation and government domination. I refuse to cowardly stand by as Democrats advance their treacherous plan or foolishly take part in helping them carry their faux policy victories across the finish line.    


Instead of falling for the unconstitutional feeding frenzy that continues to dominate the debate on the future of firearms, lawmakers must support proactive legislation in defense of Americans’ freedoms. I urge all of my colleagues to join the RETURN our Constitutional Rights Act to ensure the Second Amendment shall not be infringed — or taxed — which is ultimately the same thing. 

Rep. Andrew Clyde represents Georgia’s 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, is a Federal Firearms Licensee, and has owned Clyde Armory for over three decades.

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