Law-Abiding Gun Owners Don’t Need Another Tax

Legislative Column by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River)

Recently, a bill (A.9563) was referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee aimed at adding an excise tax on all sales of ammunition. It is possible that the bill never makes it through the committee process, but I want to make my opposition to the bill made clear early on.

In the sponsor’s memo, it says that the excise tax revenue would be sent to a gun violence research fund and that this tax is not meant to ‘disincentivize the purchase of ammunition.’ The bill was apparently introduced in response to increased gun violence around the state—a state that already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

Not enough people ask my Majority colleagues that very question, why do we see an increase in gun violence in a state that is already under the thumb of their over-reaching gun restrictions? Is it possible that we don’t have a gun problem but more of a violent crime problem? Adding an excise tax on ammunition does not get at the root problem of pro-criminal legislation which has come out of Albany that only emboldens bad actors.

In fact, this tax would only hurt law-abiding gun owners who are just looking to purchase ammunition. Criminals, by definition, do not follow the law. They are not going into our community gun stores and contributing to our economy. They are getting their weapons through back channels. I am more than supportive of getting illegal guns off our streets, but this isn’t something the bill addresses.

On the point of this tax not ‘disincentivizing’ the purchase of ammunition, really? An extra 5 cents per round can add up quickly on a total purchase. This would be a totally unnecessary price increase at a time we are already experiencing a record 40-year inflation high and gas prices well over $4 per gallon.

The Second Amendment in New York continues to be under attack. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” In Albany, I will continue to push back on legislation that jeopardizes the rights of our gun owners in the North Country and Mohawk Valley.

With any questions on this or any other legislative issue, please reach out to my office at or 315-493-3909.