Gun “Violence Tax” Passed in Chicago Area

In the wake of a Chicago summer marred by violence, Cook County commissioners approved a controversial "violence tax" that will tack $25 onto every gun purchased in the county. Revenue generated by the tax is intended to offset the cost of health care and other expenses generated by gun violence. "Gun violence is a real problem for us, Board President Toni Preckwinkle told NBC Chicago. "It's a problem for us in our criminal justice system and it's a problem for us in our health care system, and I make no apologies for the proposal." She added that 70 percent of shooting victims do not have health insurance and cost taxpayers an average of $52,000 in acute care, per shooting case. The National Rifle Association said that the tax "continues to penalize law-abiding gun owners for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms." The tax, passed as part of a $2.9 billion spending plan, comes as the city of Chicago struggled with a murder rate that is up 25 percent for the year. The tax will go into effect April 1.

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