Pascrell

A pair of Democratic lawmakers are proposing steep new taxes on handguns and ammunition, and tying the revenues to programs aimed at preventing gun violence.

Called the “Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act,” the bill sponsored by William Pascrell, D-N.J., and Danny Davis, D-Ill., would nearly double the current 11 percent tax on handguns, while raising the levy on bullets and cartridges from 11 percent to 50 percent.

“This bill represents a major investment in the protection of our children and our communities, and reflects the long-term societal costs of gun and ammunition purchases in our country,” Pascrell said.

The lawmakers say the bill would generate $600 million per year, which would be used to fund law-enforcement and gun violence prevention.

Critics predicted defeat for the measure.