LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)– A Maryland lawmaker wants to tax gun ammunition and charge an annual gun registration fee with the revenues going to help the mentally ill.

Maryland Delegate Jon S. Cardin will introduce legislation this week that imposes a 50 percent excise tax on firearms ammunition and adds a $25 annual gun registration fee. Revenues from the new bill would go directly to fund mental health and the developmentally disabled in the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“The mental health aspect has been missing from the conversation on gun control. At the moment, comprehensive treatment for mental health is more difficult to access than weapons. That’s appalling. This legislation is meant to offer treatment to those who need it in the pursuit of both decreasing gun violence and creating a healthier society overall,” Cardin, a Democrat from Baltimore County, said in a statement.

Cardin said his bill aims to appeal to the National Rifle Association’s argument that the country needs to focus on mental health and not banning guns. Cardin also is co-sponsoring this session’s assault weapons ban legislation.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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