Where will gun control money come from?

April 8, 2013

Temporary tax increases, enacted as part of a plan to close a budget gap four years ago, had been set to end this July 1. Gov. Jack Markell, in January, called for making the temporary taxes permanent, arguing the state could not afford the loss of revenue.

The four bills were voted out of the House and passed in the Senate despite unanimous opposition by Senate Republicans. Gov. Markell immediately signed them into law.

If the state so desperately needs this revenue, another question immediately arises from all the gun legislation the governor wants passed:  Has anyone considered the cost to the state?

All of the current gun control bills end with saying violation of the new law will result in a felony charge, which would mean the offender goes to prison (not the local jail as felons go to the penitentiary).  How much will this cost Delaware in:

• Prison costs: Has anyone taken time to assess available space in Delaware’s prisons to accommodate all the new criminals who will need housing?  Will Delaware need to build new prisons (plural because both men and women own firearms and will be convicted under these laws)?  Has anyone considered the cost of housing, feeding, and clothing all the new criminals that will suddenly appear and require the state to care for them?  Where will the money come from?

• Court costs: Has anyone considered the court costs that will be created by having all the newly arrested citizens who are now alleged felons process through the system? Each person will require a defense attorney; there will be a prosecuting attorney, court reporter, and all that goes with a trial (felony charges will need a trial).  Where will the money come from?

• Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families and Adult Protective Services costs: Has anyone considered the additional costs to the State for the care of children, the disabled and the elderly who are currently receiving care in homes at the expense of the family.  Who will take care of the children whose parents are in prison?  Who will take the place of those who have disabled and elderly in their homes and are providing 24/7 caregiving services?  What happens to the people who are totally dependent on their caregivers?  Where will the money come from?

These new laws will not affect criminals as criminals do not report thefts and sales of firearms anyway.  Criminals do not check to see if they are in a no gun zone. Criminals do not care if the gun they are using is considered an assault weapon and is banned or if the magazine is illegal. Criminals do whatever they want, heedless of any law or restrictions.

Considering that all - all - of the new gun legislation will affect only the law abiding tax-paying citizens, raising taxes is not viable as most of the new felons will be taxpayers, and they will not be earning an income while incarcerated.

So where will Delaware get the money?  Confiscation of the new felons’ properties?  Seizure of their bank accounts and 401K accounts?  Sale of their real estate?

Theresa Garcia

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