California lawmakers approve new tax for guns and ammunition to pay for school safety improvements

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Thursday voted to raise taxes on guns and ammunition to pay for security improvements at public schools and gun violence prevention programs.

The federal government already taxes the sale of guns and ammunition nationwide. The government gives that money to the states, which spend it on wildlife conservation and hunter safety programs.

California’s proposed tax, if it becomes law, would be 11% — matching the highest tax imposed by the federal government on guns.

“Don’t let politics stand in the way of saving the lives of our children and providing mental health care in our school districts,” Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino said. “Fear should not be on the brow of a parent when they send their kids to school.”

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