Taxation has been a standard policy lever used to limit the harms associated with potentially dangerous goods (e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, and soda or sugary beverages). It has rarely been used to manage risks associated with gun violence, however. Although several states and localities have imposed special taxes on firearms and ammunition, these have typically been used to generate revenue, not as a strategy for reducing access to firearms or limiting gun crimes. Therefore, there is little empirical evidence to indicate how taxation would influence firearm-related outcomes, such as violent crime, suicide, self-defense, or sales of firearms.
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