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Handgun tax proposed to finance buybacks, safety campaigns

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By The Los Angeles Times
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 7:42 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, is starting an effort to secure money for gun buybacks, firearms safety campaigns and anti-violence programs from a new tax on handgun purchases.

Sanchez introduced the bill, which would impose a 10 percent tax on handgun purchases, on Thursday at Los Angeles County Sheriff's headquarters.

“It is time to give our law enforcement agencies all the necessary resources to prevent gun violence,” Sanchez said.

Gun buyback programs have been popular in cities, with Los Angeles taking in 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons, at a buyback program in December. In New Jersey, more than 1,700 guns were turned in at state-sponsored “no questions asked” gun buybacks held at churches last weekend.

Still, there has been much debate about their effectiveness.

And Sanchez's bill is likely to run into resistance from House Republicans strongly opposed to tax increases.

An NRA spokesman said it strongly opposes “any misguided effort to tax law-abiding Americans exercising their fundamental constitutional right.”

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