Bill would fund firearm crime victim compensation with new tax on guns

A fund to help victims of gun violence would be created by imposing a new tax on guns in Wisconsin under a new bill proposed in the Legislature.

Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, introduced the bill Wednesday, following the shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

New bill from @Rep_Jimmy would impose a new tax on guns to pay for a fund in Wisconsin for victims of gun violence. (WI has a crime victims from through @WisDOJ, but not all gun crimes are eligible other than homicide.) #news3now

— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) August 7, 2019

In a news release, Anderson said the measure would create a fund within the Wisconsin Department of Justice to help victims with costs related to an incidence of gun violence. To create the fund, Anderson would impose a new tax on gun manufacturers of 0.5 percent of the list price for each firearm sold in Wisconsin.

“The unfortunate reality is that victims of gun violence have no legal recourse,” Anderson said in a statement, noting that gun manufacturers are immune from legal liability for criminal use of firearms. “This places incredible financial burdens on victims and their families, many of whom face exorbitant medical bills and other unforeseen expenses.”

Wisconsin currently does have a crime victim compensation fund, where victims of battery, homicide, sexual assault, child abuse, theft, stalking and injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle are covered.

News 3 Now reached out to DOJ as well as legislative leaders to see whether they would be supportive of this measure and did not immediately hear back.

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