July 1, 2016—Professor Adam Winkler joined an episode of National
Public Radio’s All Things Considered to talk about prohibition-era gang
violence and the response by Congress under President Roosevelt to adopt the
National Firearm Act, which imposed a hefty tax on automatic firearms,
ultimately intended on discouraging their purchase. The $200 tax rate on these
weapons adjusted for inflation would be approximately $3,500 today.
"This was the depression. This was in the early 1930s when
there wasn't a lot of money. The $200 tax was not meant as just tax. It was
meant to discourage people," said Professor Winkler.