Cotton, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Repeal Tax on Certain Firearm Purchases

Gun Rights

 Washington, D.C.

— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today introduced the Repealing Illegal Freedom and Liberty Excises (RIFLE) Act, legislation that would remove a burdensome tax imposed on firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act.

 Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Rick Scott (R-Florida) are co-sponsors of the legislation. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (Iowa-02) introduced companion legislation in the House.

 “Law-abiding Americans who exercise their Second Amendment rights should not be subject to unnecessary taxes and restrictions preventing them from doing so. Passed into law in 1934, the National Firearms Act needs to be amended. Our legislation will remove the red tape that places an undue financial burden on would-be gun owners,” said Senator Cotton.

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 “The federal government should not be placing financial barriers on the inalienable rights of Americans. This unconstitutional tax on certain firearm purchases is a direct violation of the Second Amendment and must be repealed. As the Biden Administration and Democrats push proposals that unfairly target law-abiding gun owners, I will continue to stand up for Iowans’ right to keep and bear arms,” said Congresswoman Hinson.

 Text of the legislation may be found here.

 Background:

  • The 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates short-barreled shotguns and rifles, fully automatic firearms, suppressors, and a catchall category of explosives. In addition to background checks and registration, NFA regulated items have a $200 tax.
  • The ATF has acknowledged the tax was intended “to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions” of firearms. The $200 tax, unchanged since 1934, is equivalent to $4,648 in today’s dollars.
  • Since 2018, ownership of NFA regulated items have grown by more than 250% as more sportsmen, shooters and firearm enthusiasts exercise their Second Amendment right.
  • The RIFLE Act does not modify the current checks and registration; it solely removes the federally mandated financial burden on law-abiding gun owners.
  • The legislation is endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
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