Thursday, July 29, 2010

Contact your senator...

Via Unc, we hear that there's a bill in the Senate right now that would reform the Federal Excise Tax on firearm and ammunition manufacturers. It sure would be nice if it passed.

You should probably let your senator know what you think.


Incidentally, the FAET is a ridiculous and unfair tax. Its purpose is to fund wildlife habitat conservation. You know, for hunters. So when a single mom in downtown Metropolis buys a .38 and a box of shells to protect her home, a not insignificant percentage of the purchase price goes to fund duck swamps, or whatever.

Law enforcement firearms are exempt from this tax, because they are obviously not for hunting, but your Kel-Tec P-32? Well, you paid the Bambi Tax.

Further, wasn't firearms ownership just ruled to be an individual right? Why are guns taxed, then? Isn't that as unconstitutional as, say, a special tax on religious accoutrement or newspapers?

22 comments:

Matt said...

As unconstitutional as a poll tax.

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis Star Tribune v. Commissioner (1983) is the case you are thinking of.

I can't remember the cite but Mr. Google should find it.

Shootin' Buddy

Jay G said...

I'm certain that Senator Lurch would be interested in repealing a sales tax on ammunition.

Right after the sales tax on luxury yachts, that is...

And don't get me started on Senator Blow Dry...

og said...

me, I got no problem paying the tax on hunting ammunition, I know where the tax dollars are going, in indiana, at least. It is a little stupid that they make you pay that on non-hunting ammo.
Wow, there's a handful of words I thought I'd never say.

ZerCool said...

I'm with Og - but then where do you draw the line?

That .308 makes a dandy target rifle ... and a great deer rifle. The box of 12ga buckshot is wonderful for protecting the homestead ... from the hoofed rats.

Then, of course, there's the obvious: if they repeal the Pittman-Robertson tax, do you think:

(A) prices are going to drop 11%.
(B) Manufacturers are going to show record profits.
(C) Dealers are going to show record profits.

Just sayin'... :-)

Tam said...

"(A) prices are going to drop 11%.
(B) Manufacturers are going to show record profits.
(C) Dealers are going to show record profits.

Just sayin'... :-)
"

You'll save money. Even if they only slashed prices by 5.5%, you'd still save money, and they'd make record profits.

Oh, and here at VFTP, "profit" is not a dirty word. What are you? Some kinda commie? ;)

jimbob86 said...

I have a solution: Keep the tax and make Pittman-Robertson money available to public shooting ranges .... wait, Fedmoney ALWAYS has strings attached.... NEVERMIND.

Matt said...

My guess would be that the outcome is some combination of ZerCool's possibles. But frankly, I'd be totally fine with _any_ of them, even taken alone.

I'd rather my money stay with me, of course, but if taxes get cut and the manufacturers and dealers raise prices and split the difference, then at least I know the money's going to honest businessmen instead of damned crooked politicians.

Anonymous said...

I may be mis-reading or linkage challenged but the NSSF page isn't about changing the excise tax. It only changes bi-weekly to quarterly payments.

Quotage:
This legislation will not increase the federal deficit, nor does it reduce the excise tax rate — it simply changes the payment schedule.
End Quotage.

I'd be all over actually dealing with the excise tax but this appears not to be the droids we're looking for.

Tam said...

Anon 3:06,

"I may be mis-reading or linkage challenged but the NSSF page isn't about changing the excise tax. It only changes bi-weekly to quarterly payments."

Correct. I linked to an article about reforming the excise tax (changing the manner in which it is collected.) Then I went on rambling on my own about how I thought it was a dumb tax that should be repealed.

Anonymous said...

Bi-weekly payment schedule!?

It becomes more apparent every day how greatly the US gov't despises private arms.

Kristopher said...

Restrict Pitmann-roos to hunting firearms and ammo only.

Say, remchesters, any rifle with camo on it, shotguns, and popular non FMJ hunting calibers.

Easiest way to avoid paying: make it an evil black rifle, or a small pistol.

Since the second amendment ain't about duck hunting, pittmann-roos can be applied to Fudd-guns without violating the 14th amendment.

Stranger said...

Well - lessee here. IN SIGHT, there are, hmm, 10Krounds of various varieties of ammo. How do you separate the .40 HP's I may use for self defense from the .40 HP's I will shoot up at my impromptu range?

How about those .270 Bronze Points? I have been tinkering with the bedding on the 721. The last box or two out of 500 will, hopefully, go pronghorn hunting.

Considering what Pittman Robertson has paid for, that's the only tax I don't mind paying.

Heck, there are prairie chickens on the res again, after all these years. Pay it quarterly instead of twice a (month/week) but otherwise leave it alone.

Stranger

joe said...


(A) prices are going to drop 11%.
(B) Manufacturers are going to show record profits.
(C) Dealers are going to show record profits.

Just sayin'... :-)


I would say that (A) is quite likely. I seem to recall a time back in the Clinton years when we had a government shutdown. One of the things that was interrupted for a while was a head-tax on plane tickets. Some airlines tried to keep their prices static, pocketing the difference, but the normal rules of competition brought them down by the amount of the tax. Within 24 hours.

Ed Foster said...

In all fairness, the NRA, Isaac Walton League, DEucks Unlimited, Boone and Crockett, just about everybody else with an iron in the hunting/fishing/target shooting establishment, went to Washington in the '60's and begged LBJ to continue Pittman-Robertson when he was cutting all the other excise taxes.

Most of my ammo gets shot on a target range, but I don't mind buying up prime hunting land rather than see it condoized, and we all get to use it if we want to.

I've also used Pitt-Rob to shut up anti-gunners/hunters when they object to "their" tax money being used to support the blood sports, and I've shot on several ranges that were partially funded by the act.

So, speaking for myself only, I can live with it. Taxes suck, but I'm getting a hell of a lot more for this one than I am for most of the others.

Robert said...

"I have a solution: Keep the tax and make Pittman-Robertson money available to public shooting ranges ...."

They do. Lots of public ranges are funded using the tax -- probably the vast majority of them.

Standard Mischief said...

Sweet. How about sales tax on newspapers, earmarked to going to pay NPR?

I mean, if we have to subsidize "All Things Communist" with taxpayer dollars, at least let it come from the press themselves.

We can also have a tax on Hollywood actors earmarked to pay for National Endowment of the Arts grants, instead of taking that out of the general fund.

Ed Foster said...

I kind of like the idea that the only tax of this sort is ours. Again, it gives all the shooting sports, all the blood sports (it's on archery and fishing tackle too) enourmous political leverage.

Politically, I'm about one third conservative, one third libertarian (small l), and one third pragmatist. This definately falls under the heading of pragmatism.

Knotthead said...

I've always been a fan of this act and would rather not see it repealed, but given the nature of guns and ammo sales today, much more of it should be utilized for public ranges.

Desertrat said...

Pitman/Robinson and Dingell/Johnson taxes when coupled with hunting/fishing license monies are about the only real source of funds for wildlife biologists and game wardens. And, in some places, the only way a shooting range is available.

One of the few worthwhile goobermint deals, seems to me.

Hey, RKBA is everybody, and these taxes are just part of our deal.

rick said...

No matter how many times I write them, my senators, Babs & Di, never seem to vote to represent my views. Weird, huh?

Clint said...

"but your Kel-Tec P-32? Well, you paid the Bambi Tax."

Use the P-R tax for indoor public ranges that allows other-than-bullseye targets and more than one shot per three seconds. Now that single mom has a place to practice.

Michael Bane commented here on the shortage of ranges; which seems to be the bottleneck for ccw and training.
http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/2010/04/still-running-like-crazy.html