Is Requiring a Fee to Exercise a Right Constitutional?

I think regardless of what political party you belong to we can probably all agree that requiring a fee to exercise a right is just wrong, discriminatory, and unconstitutional.

Let’s take voting for instance. We all can agree being able to vote is a right. The right to vote is mentioned 5 times in the Constitution. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments speak of voting specifically. So it’s agreed that it’s a right. So what if we required a few things in order to be able to exercise it?

Well I think that requiring someone prove who they are, and that they are a US citizen, is not to much to ask right? Everyone can do that regardless of economic status, and it will not prevent anyone from voting. Right? But what if we added a $100 “voting” tax? Just something to make a little extra money for the government. Not a big deal right? WHAT? Wait! If you add a fee to exercise a right does that not put that right out of the reach of some people who may be economically challenged? That makes that fee discriminatory against that demographic of people. We can’t have that, how can we add fees to exercising a right and make it hard or impossible for people without the means to be able to exercise that right? Can we not all agree that is not what a right should be? Can we agree that if you exclude a segment of the population it becomes discrimination?

As one of our founding fathers, James Madison, stated so eloquently: “The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict the majority’s ability to harm a minority.” We need to make sure that we remember that we have to take care of the rights of all the people, even those we may not agree with, but if it’s a right guaranteed by the Constitution (our highest law of the land) then we should do everything in our power to make sure we do not discriminate against any group, majority or minority.

So why do I bring this up and use the right to vote as an example? Because this is exactly what some legislators are trying to do to the 2nd Amendment. They want to charge an additional tax on firearms and ammunition. They want to add fees to getting a permit to own or carry a firearm (requiring a license to own a firearm is already unconstitutional in my opinion) and the latest to outlaw private sales of firearms and require all sales to go through a federally licensed firearms dealer. This would add a “transfer fee” to every purchase of a firearm. Regardless if it was from a FFL or a private citizen. While these things are wrong on so many levels, let’s get back to the basics of a right. Making that right out of reach for any group of people.

Firearms are not cheap but you can get them fairly inexpensively if you look around. What possible way can taxing or adding a fee to firearms and firearms transactions stop any type of firearms crime? It can’t, that’s ludicrous of course. And by adding a fee or tax to own or possess a firearm (other than the cost of the firearm itself and maybe regular sales tax) they are trying to limit the rights of all people who are of a certain demographic, in this case the very people who are most prone to crime and need the ability to defend themselves.

So a word of advice or warning to our legislators who are thinking of this way of restricting a right that ALL law abiding Americans should be able to exercise. Many cry discrimination and racism about many things, but those that make our laws and try to restrict your rights this way are some of the biggest culprits.

Pay attention to your state and federal Represenatives and what they are trying to do or pass. Stay up to date on your states legislative sessions and the Bills being discussed and submitted. Most of all make your voice heard! Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on, trying to remove rights should be a time you come together and make sure that those in positions to make laws know your feelings.

You cannot tax a right out of existence, the people will not stand for it.

Florida’s attempt at adding fees –

A few Federal Attempts – &

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s