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Joined: Mar 05, 2011
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

from: http://visitor.benchmarkemail.com/c/v?e=222219&c=E62F&l=558466C&email=TJCbufctnZ9gu%2Bs%2FxWR0XXzBjzlZ2TJR&relid=4C4A98B7

October 25, 2012

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
118 N. Clark Street, Room 537
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: (312) 443-4397

Re: 2013 Proposed Guns and Ammunition “Violence Tax”

Dear Ms. Preckwinkle;

Your 2013 proposed budget asks for a new $25 tax on all firearms as well as a nickel tax per bullet or shotgun shell purchased. If passed, this ordinance will penalize our armed first responders by pricing life saving firearms skills practice out of reach. There are many instances where the tax on ammunition will exceed the actual cost of the product, leading to price increases of over 150 percent. How will this impact police officers, security guards, private detectives, armored car personnel, and other armed professionals in Cook County who seek to maintain their firearms skills by practicing with live ammunition on a regular basis? The impact will be that officers will stop engaging in regular live-fire practice and training.

Most police departments and security firms provide only the minimum opportunity for officers to practice with agency-purchased ammunition. I’m sure it is the same with your own Cook County Sheriff’s Office. This often times equates to perhaps one box of 50 cartridges per year. As a Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, I actively encourage my firearms students to practice their live-fire firearms skills at least once per month. I understand that I am asking them to make a financial commitment due to the cost of ammunition, range fees, and gun cleaning supplies. But if this ordinance passes, I am afraid my encouragement will be in vain. Armed professionals do not make enough money to ask them to choose between feeding their children or paying for their life-saving firearms skills practice. And that is not a choice we should force them to have to make. Proficiency in firearms skills is a perishable skill and an activity that we do not want to discourage armed professionals and law abiding citizens from engaging in. To the contrary; we want them to engage in more of it. As you know, anytime the government taxes a particular activity, the consequence is we see less of that activity.

Just 2 months ago in New York City, 9 innocent bystanders were shot by 2 New York City police officers who had never pulled their guns in the line of duty, involved in a shooting with a single armed individual. Had those officers practiced regularly with their firearms, more than the NYPD’s minimum annual qualification, this tragedy might have been avoided. Now in Cook County, with the passage of this ordinance, we will be putting the public at risk by discouraging individual police officers, armed professionals and law abiding gun owners from maintaining proficiency with their firearms.

For these reasons, NRA Certified Firearms Instructors like me strongly oppose this proposed ordinance and we urge you to oppose it as well.

You claim this tax will generate about $1 million per year in new revenue. The burden of providing budget relief for the County should not fall on the shoulders of our armed first responders, armed private security personnel and law abiding gun owners.

We dispute the claim that this ordinance will raise money. Rather, it will cost the County revenue when hunters and shooting enthusiasts take their business outside County lines. Revenue will be lost, not gained. Many sporting goods stores, including the massive Cabela’s store in Hoffman Estates, may be forced to abandon the County in order to remain competitive or may be forced to close their doors and lay off employees.

Finally, this tax will also do nothing to address the issue of gun violence. Imposing financial hardship on the front line protectors responsible for keeping society safe from the violence you wish to tax is not a strategy for addressing societal issues.

Firearms Instructors and armed professionals such as me will strongly oppose this new tax by speaking out at public budget hearings and through written communication to the Cook County Board of Commissioners and other concerned parties.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter.


Craig Lawrence, CPP CAS
Managing Director

United Risk International
URI Protective Services
URI Firearms Training
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Joined: Mar 05, 2011
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This letter was faxed on 10/25 to Board President Preckwinkle's office and was also individually addressed and sent to each of the Cook County Commissioners. Please feel free to reuse or repost this letter.

Please contact Board President Preckwinkle and all the Cook County Board of Commissioners today and urge them to oppose this unfair tax on your rights.

Phone Number

President Toni Preckwinkle

Robert Steele

Larry Suffredin

Earlean Collins

Timothy O. Schneider

Jerry Butler
312-603 6391

Elizabeth Doody Gorman

Joan Patricia Murphy

Jeffrey R. Tobolski

Bridget Gainer

John A. Fritchey

William M. Beavers

Gregg Goslin

Edwin Reyes

Jesus G. Garcia

Deborah Sims
312-603 6381

Peter N. Silvestri

John P. Daley

Commissioner Email addresses:

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Joined: Mar 16, 2010
Posts: 545

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

GOOD LUCK! You're gonna NEED it!

“Small minds adhere to the letter of the law; great minds dispense Justice.” - - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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