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Subject:

Raising fees and taxes on firearms is unconstitutional!

Body:

Dear Legislator,
  
    I am writing you today in reference to the recent announcement of Gov Murphy’s proposed budget plan. In the budget plan announced on 8/25/20, we find a reference to increasing fees and taxes on firearms permits and firearms and ammunition. 

    Under current law, the one-time application fee for a firearms purchaser identification card is $5.  This bill increases that fee to $100.  The $2 application fee for a permit to purchase a handgun for each handgun purchased is increased to $50 under the bill.  Finally, the $20 fee for the initial application for a 
permit to carry a handgun and subsequent two-year renewals of the permit is increased to $200. The vague budget plan insinuates that fees for firearms permits have not been changed since the 1960s and therefore, the increases in the fees set forth in the bill are warranted. 

Let me remind you of these very important precedents:

"No state shall convert a liberty into a license and charge a fee therefore.” (Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105)

 

and...

“If the State converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.” (Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262).

 

also...
  
The original intent of our permitting system adopted in 1968 by AG Sills and the legislature was not to overburden law abiding citizens with fees and taxes. The intent was and is to separate the fit from unfit from obtaining a firearm. 

For the Governor to claim the increase in taxes and fees is related to COVID-19 is ridiculous. This fee and tax increase was a campaign promise. 
 
I ask you to vote no on ANY new fees and taxes on firearms ammunition or two-year renewals on permits and firearms purchaser cards.

Sincerely,

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