Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Illinois Supreme Court tosses county tax on guns, ammunition

  • Updated
  • 0

CHICAGO — The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Cook County taxes on guns and ammunition violate the state constitution because they "directly burden a law-abiding citizen's" second amendment right to buy the items for self-defense.

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote in a 6-0 decision that the taxes violate the constitution's uniformity clause. She noted revenue from the tax isn't directed toward funds or programs to curb the costs of gun violence or reduce the violence.

Illinois' largest county approved the $25 tax on the retail purchase of a firearm within the county in 2012. In 2015, Cook County approved a tax ranging from 1 cent to 5 cents per cartridge of ammunition. Any person who doesn't pay the tax faces fines starting at $1,000.

A gun rights organization, Guns Save Life, sued, saying the tax violated the second amendment.

The county argued that the harmful effects of guns and ammunition cost the county "immeasurably." They said that in 2017 the county's hospitals system treated over 1,100 patients with gunshot wounds, spending $30,000 to $50,000 on each patient.

The widow of late Champaign police officer Chris Oberheim joins Illinois Senate Republicans in urging majority Democrats to take up a series of bills meant to address crime and public safety concerns.

A spokesman for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said Thursday they are disappointed in the ruling and will work to determine next steps.

"It is no secret that gun violence continues to be an epidemic in our region," Nick Mathiowdis said. "We continue to maintain that the cost of a bullet should reflect, even if just a little bit, the cost of the violence that ultimately is not possible without the bullet."

0
0
0
0
0

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

In its latest round of opinions, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a Village of Deerfield assault weapons ban and restored a Putnam County man’s right to a Firearm Owners Identification card over the objections of the Illinois State Police.

CHICAGO — Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Illinois' new congressional district map into law Tuesday, formalizing political boundaries drawn to help Democrats in next year's midterm elections, when Republicans are well positioned to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Better Government Association's Bryan Zarou and University of Illinois political science professor Brian Gaines talk with Peter Hancock about the redistricting process in Illinois and the upcoming oral arguments in three federal lawsuits challenging the new legislative maps.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News