Cook County’s new tax on firearm sales goes into effect today. The $25 tax is expected to raise about $600,000 a year.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the money will help fund the county’s hospital system — where, she says it costs an average of $52,000 to treat a gunshot victim.
“Gunshot victims make up more than 30 percent of the patients our trauma center sees,” Preckwinke said, at a news conference this morning, adding that, “I know this tax will not unilaterally solve the violence issue we face here in Chicago and other parts of Cook County, but it is without a doubt a necessary piece of the puzzle.”
The county has also adopted what Preckwinkle called other “common sense” gun safety policies, including a fine of up to $2,000 for those who fail to report a lost or stolen gun and violence prevention funding to help take back communities violence.
She also has advocated for legislation that would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines; require registration of existing firearms and require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows.