A Manhattan Democrat amid a "cage fight" of a reelection campaign has introduced legislation that will make licensed firearm manufacturers pay extra taxes if they elect to make the most popular rifles in the country. 

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, vying for her 16th term in Congress, has been remarkably busy in recent months to publicly scold gun makers for producing semi-auto rifles such as variants of the AR-15. Facing fellow "tough on guns" Dem U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler in a primary runoff this week, Maloney has announced two new bills, the Firearm Industry Crime and Trafficking Accountability Act, which would mandate that gunmakers somehow establish a monitoring system to track the crimes committed with guns they have made, and the more punitive Firearm Industry Fairness Act. The latter would tax gun makers that produce any "semiautomatic weapons" or "high-capacity magazines" at a rate of 20 percent on all its revenue, even if the guns in question make up a small amount of their catalog. 

"My message is clear – if you continue to sell dangerous weapons of war to civilians, your cost of doing business will go up," said Maloney in a statement. "There is no reason that an assault weapon used in mass shootings should be taxed at the same rate as a family hunting rifle or a gun manufacturer should be allowed to ignore the crimes committed with their products."

The problem is, for a substantial chunk of America, modern sporting rifles – the industry term for ARs and the like – are the "family hunting rifle." 

According to the 2022 Ammunition Consumption Study by Winchester Ammunition, some 60 percent of those who hunted with a centerfire rifle used an MSR. Besides traditional outdoor publications like North American Whitetail and Petersen's Hunting, which have expounded on the benefits of MSRs for sporting purposes, even Time magazine has pointed out in the past that the AR is often used for harvesting game and controlling predatory or invasive wildlife. There is little wonder why big-name rifle makers like Daniel Defense, Savage, and Windham Weaponry make dedicated "Hunter" model ARs – because people want them. 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that there are at least 24.4 million MSRs in circulation, a figure that doesn't take into account guns produced prior to 1990 or personally made firearms constructed from so-called 80-percent receivers or receiver kits.

America's firearms industry already pays Congressionally mandated excise taxes ranging from 10 to 11 percent on the firearms and ammo they make for commercial sale, a levy met ultimately by the law-abiding Americans who buy them. That total has added up to more than $15.3 billion since 1937.

Banner image: An Aero Precision M4E1 Grendel Hunter AR in the Guns.com Vault.