[Update: The bill has been assigned a number and is headed to committee. See the update from the NRA-ILA here.]
When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in D.C. vs. Heller, one of the first people to speak out against the ruling was Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who stated flatly that he was going to raise taxes in response. It's worth talking about the fact that the sales tax in Chicago is already so outrageous, but that's another discussion.
[Update: I partially misquoted Daley. Actually he said:
"If the result of this ruling is more guns on the street it's going to make it more challenging for law enforcement," Daley said, predicting an end to Chicago's handgun ban would spark new violence and force the city to raise taxes to pay for new police.
Emphasis mine. Deval Patrick isn't waiting for the if. He's just going to do it, because his state is strapped for cash and he needs a new victim.]
When Richard Daley speaks, the rest of the liberals listen and fall in line. Yesterday Governor Deval Patrick (D - Clinton) filed a special appropriations bill that drastically raises the fees on firearms dealers and licensees in Massachusetts. If passed, the new legislation will raise the fees for a dealer license in Massachusetts by 350%, increase the 6-year License to Carry fee by 100%, and increase the yearly non-resident LTC fee by 150%. Massachusetts is in such bad shape financially that Patrick doesn't have the option to raise taxes on everyone in the state just because of D.C. vs. Heller, so what he's doing instead is to take a spiked pipe to the heads of everyone in Massachusetts that sells guns, owns them, or wants to. Even if all they want to do is move here, or simply possess a license to own one.
From the NRA-ILA:
Sections 24 & 25 will increase state licensed firearm dealer’s fees from $100 for three years to $250. Then within that three-year period, licensed dealers will be charged an additional $100 inspection fee per year. This tactic would turn a $100 three-year dealer's license into a $450 three-year license. Section 26 would increase a resident License to Carry fee from $100 for six years to $200 for six years and Section 27 would increase a non-resident License to Carry fee from $100 for one year to $250 for one year.
As is par for the course in Massachusetts, these fee increases are purely punitive, completely arbitrary and ideologically motivated. There's not much anyone who doesn't live in MA can do to prevent these measures from being voted into law, but people elsewhere should be on alert that if it passes here in MA, similar measures are on the way in your home state.
The D.C. vs. Heller decision is rapidly evolving into another excuse for cash-strapped state governments (and just plain anti-gun state governments) run by Democrats to take another whack at their favorite victims. Obviously if you live in Massachusetts you should be contacting your representatives, and if you don't, I'd like to reiterate: