Republican congressional candidate suggests that gun stores sell 'fun-sized Snickers' bars for the price of assault rifles to circumvent a potential firearms tax

·3 min read
A stock photo of an AR-15 carbine rifle.
Don Beyer, a House Democrat, intends to introduce a 1,000% tax on AR-15 rifles.Getty Images
  • A GOP congressional candidate suggested how gun stores could circumvent a 1,000% tax on AR-15s.

  • The entails stores selling a Snickers bar for $950 while letting an AR-15 go for $1.

  • The store would then charge a "$10 excise tax" and avoid paying the 1,000% tax on the AR-15.

A Republican candidate for Congress claimed this week that there would be a way for gun stores to circumvent Democratic lawmakers' efforts to slap a 1,000% tax on AR-15s.

Errol Webber, a Republican congressional primary candidate seeking to oust Democratic Rep. Katie Porter in California's 47th district, tweeted on Monday in response to Insider's reporting on the potential gun tax.

The bill itself, which Virginia Rep. Don Beyer plans to introduce, involves a 1,000% fee being slapped on assault weapons — a move that would likely restrict access to them without banning them outright.

The Democratic lawmaker's proposal would mean that a new AR-15 — which currently costs anywhere from $500 to over $2,000 — might see the tax adding $5,000 to $20,000 to the final sales price. The AR-15 was the weapon used in the deadly school shooting on May 24, which saw 21 people being fatally shot at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

"What it's intended to do is provide another creative pathway to actually make some sensible gun control happen," Beyer said to Insider. "We think that a 1,000% fee on assault weapons is just the kind of restrictive measure that creates enough fiscal impact to qualify for reconciliation."

However, Webber pitched a pathway for gun stores to circumvent Beyer's intentions.

"Simple solution: Say a particular AR-15 costs $950. Then gun store owners simply need to sell a "fun-sized" Snickers bar for $950," Webber tweeted.

He suggested that the customer eat the candy bar at the store so they wouldn't be able to request a refund on the $950.

"And then sell the AR-15 for $1. Then charge the $10 excise tax," Webber wrote.

However, Webber's suggestion wouldn't work. Beyer's bill, as it stands, imposes the tax on manufacturers, producers, and importers. It wouldn't be possible for a gun store to exploit any such regulatory loophole. For example, a liquor store can't circumvent alcohol taxes by switching the product and selling food instead.

Webber later deleted his tweet on Wednesday.

Beyer's bill is designed to pass with only Democratic votes through the reconciliation process. That only requires a simple majority and it paves the way for Democrats to sidestep GOP opposition.

Congress is currently working on an expanded gun safety package separate from Senate negotiations centered around a bipartisan bill on mental health, red-flag laws, and expanded background checks. President Joe Biden has also called for renewed restrictions on assault weapons following the Texas school massacre.

Read the original article on Business Insider