Pa. state lawmaker proposes bill taxing violent video games to fund school security

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker has proposed taxing violent video games in an effort to increase funding for school security.

State Rep. Christopher Quinn (R) said the 10 percent tax on games rated “mature” or “adult only” would go towards funding school safety projects, such as the installation of metal detectors and additional security cameras or bulletproof glass in some cases, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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“The crux of the bill is, I’m simply trying to make schools safe," Quinn said. “It’s about identifying a source of funding to help combat the growing violence."

Quinn noted the bill has bipartisan support but will not go up for a vote in the House until he has a better grasp on the constitutionality of the legislation.

“This is a matter of trying to figure out, OK, here’s a problem, how do we try to generate some revenue that’s directly coming from the problem itself to help us offset it,” he said.

Quinn said his bill would raise roughly $3.5 million a year that would go into a special account to be used only for school security measures.

A spokesperson for the Entertainment Software Association told the Inquirer that the bill would likely get struck down in court because video games are protected as free speech and the legislation would be viewed as censorship.

“The U.S. Supreme Court made clear ... that video games are entitled to the full protection of the Constitution and that efforts, like Pennsylvania’s, to single out video games based on their content will be struck down," spokesperson Dan Hewitt told the Inquirer in a statement.

Quinn added that he believes there is a connection between violent video games and school shootings.

Research has not definitively shown a link between the two, according to a review by The New York Times.