Two Democratic state lawmakers on Monday called for an excise tax on ammunition production in New York to generate funding for gun violence research.
The measure backed by state Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy would tax ammo production between two and five cents.
Lawmakers backing the bill want to bolster funding for the state's newly created research fund for studying gun violence, which is part of the state Department of Health and the State University of New York.
“As we seek to address New York’s rise in gun violence, it’s incumbent on us as legislators to identify fact-based approaches that will save lives and bring peace to our communities," Gounardes said. "By taxing ammunition, we are fairly funding research that will help us build smart and effective policies."
The proposal comes as New York officials over the last several months have grappled with a sharp rise in violent crime. A multi-state effort backed by Gov. Kathy Hochul has sought to crack down on the flow of illegal guns into New York from other parts of the country.
Officials have blamed the COVID-19 pandemic, in part, for the increase in violence over the last year.
“When we talk about gun violence prevention and community-based policies that help to interrupt cycles of violence, resources matter,” Fahy said. “By directing revenue generated off of the sale of ammunition in New York to gun violence research and addressing its root causes, we’re putting resources where they’re most effectively used and protecting more New Yorkers from the scourge of gun violence."