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Bill Would Tax Guns, Ammo In New Jersey To Fund Safety Upgrades

Guns for sale at Stamford gun show (credit: CBS 2)

Guns for sale at Stamford gun show (credit: CBS 2)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A proposed bill in the New Jersey State Assembly would place an extra tax on guns and ammunition to fund public safety improvements.

New Jersey State Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Paramus) is co-sponsoring the Safety Infrastructure Tax Act, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Paramus.) Eustace told WCBS 880 that currently, state funds are not sufficient to fund the needed safety upgrades.

“The idea is there is money needed to put security measures in schools, library and municipal buildings, and in New Jersey, we’re squeezing every dollar out of that, so there’s no way to get it out of the normal revenue stream,” Eustace said. “We’re reducing the school funding, reducing municipal funding, so in order to make our facilities safer, we’re suggesting a 5 percent tax on firearms.”

Eustace said the money gained from the gun tax would go toward safety improvements to New Jersey public buildings, such as security cameras and notification systems.

State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo has advised placing notification systems – specifically panic alarms – in every New Jersey school in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre.

As for the bill he is co-sponsoring, despite the tax hike on guns and ammunition, Eustace said he expects it pass.

“It’s something in the works, and I don’t see a lot of opposition,” he said.

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