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Don't panic: Missouri lawmaker proposes violent game tax


State Representative Diane Franklin (R) of Camdenton, Missouri, is proposing a 1 percent sales tax on violent video games. The AP reports the tax is in response to the school shootings in Connecticut and is designed to support mental health programs, along with law enforcement measures to prevent more mass shootings.

For its part, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which fought a similar California law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, told us, "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled only 18 months ago that laws penalizing video games are unconstitutional. Taxing First Amendment protected speech based on its content is not only wrong, but will end up costing Missouri taxpayers."

That isn't even a veiled threat. The ESA has a habit of recouping lawyer costs. California paid out nearly $2 million for its unconstitutional attempts, but it hasn't been the only state.

Oklahoma also tried a similar violent game bill last year that was killed before it got too far.

We've reached out to Rep. Franklin's office to find out if she's still looking to pursue the bill.

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