Another Philadelphia-Area Anti-Gun Legal Seminar

This one was a few weeks ago at my alma mater, featuring John Culhane, Professor of Law and Director of the Health and Law Institute at Widener University School of Law. I had worried about Drexel starting a law school and buying a medical school. Such things inevitably brings politics on campus. When I went back in the early-to-mid 90s, it was mostly an engineering school. Most of us didn’t have the time to join the PC brigade, or engage in other perpetual outrages. That was for Penn students.

I thought I had remembered Professor Culhane from somewhere, and I managed to dig up exactly where I heard of him. He’s been peddling the idea that we can just tax those evil gun manufactures and make them pay:

But there is a simple and direct way to make them accountable for the harm their products cause. For every gun sold, those who manufacture or import it should pay a tax. The money should then be used to create a compensation fund for innocent victims of gun violence.

I’d say he gets an A for creativity, but this isn’t a new idea. It’s also likely unconstitutional. The courts have generally looked down upon taxing schemes designed to create a burden on the exercise of a right. (See Volokh, Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, pg.1542-1544).  It was unfortunate I was not able to attend, because it would have been fun to throw some abortion rights cases at him, which used substantial burden analysis, and argue that his proposal is akin to what right-to-life groups have tried to impose on abortion, in terms of raising its costs.

5 thoughts on “Another Philadelphia-Area Anti-Gun Legal Seminar”

  1. A tax on every gun sold, you say?

    Why not tax every violent crime while we’re at it, instead of plea bargaining them all down to jaywalking? Oh, right.. Liberals feel bad for offenders because they had a rough upbringing or whatever. Better to punish inanimate objects than victims of a lousy childhood.

  2. The SCOTUS basically has set a new precedence for taxing. If you don’t participate in Obama Care, you get “taxed”. That is really a fine for the refusal in exercise of commerce. Which is another constitutional protected right, to engage or not to engage in commerce, not have commerce forced upon you. A tax is supposed to fund something, what does this tax fund specifically?

    So why not guns and accessories? I know it seems backwards as a comparison but this unconstitutional taxing is the same. Lets add a red car tax for those that like red cars. Lets add a suit tax for those that choose to not wear a suit.

    Where and when will all this end?

  3. Mr. Texas C.
    It will never end,its the constant battle of good verses evil,smart vs dumb. What we know works vs hey! Lets try this again!
    These people sincerly believe if we try it again in a different way, IT WILL WORK!! They sincerly believe in the progressive/socailist (totalatarian?) way of goverment. They believe history is on their side, and there is not a whole lot we can do to change (save for a few) their minds.
    Thats why we must be vigilant in a rather aggressive manner…….

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