Rice: Why Should Gun Owners Pay a Conservation Tax When Buying Self-Defense Firearms and Ammo?

duck hunt dog shotgun remington

Dan Z for TTAG

Thanks to an 82-year-old law — the Pittman-Robertson Act — Americans pay an excise tax on every firearm and round of ammunition purchased. Buyers of handguns pay 10% while long guns and ammunition carry an 11% lug. As the US Fish & Wildlife Service says, funds collected provide “Federal aid to States for management and restoration of wildlife.”

Since the law was enacted in 1937, the firearms industry — or more accurately, America’s gun owners — have contributed $12.5 billion dollars toward that wildlife conservation fund, no matter what kind of firearm or ammunition they purchased, many of which aren’t designed and will never be used for hunting or other sporting use.

Not all users of guns and ammunition are hunters and not all gun owners want to financially support conservation or mandatory hunter education programs that in some cases carry an anti-gun message. If wildlife conservation and hunter education results in a gun tax, then I have no interest in these programs. I do, however, care about our environment, which is why I voluntarily recycle paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard.

There are dozens of handguns that are specifically designed for — and overwhelmingly used for — concealed carry and self-defense.  These pistols range in retail price from well under $300 for a SCCY CPX and a high of almost $3700 for a Wilson Combat CQB — with many quality self-defense guns selling at retail prices well under $1000 such as a Charter Arms Mag Pug with an MSRP of $410.20 for the double action only model which is very well-suited for personal self-defense. These are most certainly not hunting handguns even by using an overly broad definition of a “hunting handgun”!

What this means is that a single mother, on a limited budget who wants to purchase an inexpensive self-defense gun is being forced to spend an extra $20-$30 to subsidize sport hunting and wildlife conservation. Activities which she will probably not participate in and activities for which an SCCY CPX (or similar handgun) are pretty much useless. Furthermore, that extra $30 could arguably be put to better use buying a few boxes of practice ammunition.

– Alan Rice in Your Right to Self-Defense is Taxed, and You Probably Don’t Even Realize It

comments

  1. avatar Dennis says:

    All part of the plan! Tax every aspect of gun ownership whether it be hunting, skeet shooting, target shooting , etc. They’ll weed out the people who aren’t really that into it, then they will focus on us diehards.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Yes, because the “conspiracy” started in 1937…/sar

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        It’s actually been going on for longer than that.

        Oppressors have always caught to disarm those they victimize. Read 1st Samuel 13:19-23.

        “Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” 20 But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle,[d] 21 and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel[e] for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel[f] for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. 22 So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.”
        (ESV)

        I’m in favor of conservation, but this particular aspect of this tax law is immoral.

      2. avatar Casey says:

        I’m glad you used the sarcasm tag, because otherwise someone would surely point out that the NFA was passed in 1934, and it is explicitly a tax on firearms meant to make them too expensive for your average people to use, and it also is still in effect today.

        So yeah, by 1937 this tactic was tried-and-true.

      3. avatar anonymous says:

        What conspiracy? It’s kind of already transpired. Kind of… already in progress here.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=tax+gun+ownership

    2. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      With the added benefit that it supports the idea that the only legitimate reason for civilians to have arms is for hunting.

  2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    Surely, gun control advocates will agree that the tax should be repealed on those guns and ammunition that they keep claiming have no use for hunting…..

    1. avatar Newshawk says:

      What? Progressives removing any tax at all, for any reason? Inconceivable!!!

  3. avatar GS650G says:

    Watch how much president warren raises that tax to support the costs of disarming us.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Only the Harpy Hag is gonna bwitch slap her and she will not be the chosen candidate,because the Hag want’s to improve her record and become a three time Looser.

      1. avatar Jim from LI says:

        Glad you specified, there’s so many Harpy Hags to choose from.

    2. avatar ViejoTorro says:

      In 1937 it was not President Warren it was Roosevelt. The National Firearms Act was passed in 36 I believe so there may have been a agenda.

      1. avatar Hydguy says:

        The NFA went into effect in 1934.
        And it’s unconstitutional in the way the BATFE applies it.

  4. avatar daveinwyo says:

    I somewhat support the tax. I do agree it may be an extra burden for some.
    However I would really like to see an audit of the monies in blue states, especially in commifornia.

    1. avatar In for a Penny, In for a pound says:

      “I do agree it may be an extra burden for some”

      The only way it is a burden is if the person is low impulse control and can’t budget properly. A self-defense gun is not something to be cheap about.

      My friend is very low income and in wheelchair, which means the instant he opens up his apartment door there is a realistic expectation of violence for him. The bipartisans force the mentally inferior homeless junkies and minorities into my friends neighborhood. It is obvious that cops make a profit by the presence of predators, as each call out for a junkie will be used to expand the cops budget. It wasn’t bad when the junkies were White because they could be shot without hate crime attachments.

      He values his family and his life and it wasn’t that hard for him to save a couple months to get a quality firearm. Forced diversity in his neighborhood means that he chose a 5.7x28mm, to be able to shoot through car doors of minority street thugs and through the soft armor of state thugs, who would try to illegally disarm him on his work outs in the park.
      Cops have no legal duty to help a Citizen, and thankfully the 2nd Amendment means they have no right to expect they could safely try and disarm a Citizen.

      1. avatar Nathan Freeman says:

        You are a misguided, xenophobic ignoramus.

      2. avatar ViejoTorro says:

        Curious by what right you determine what is and isn’t in a budget. Who are you to determine how much a person should budget and how long they should have to wait to by a firearm.
        Then there is the little thing of being attacked while waiting for firearm. I strongly believe that a most folks are as well of with a budget gun as “proper one”

        1. avatar rt66paul says:

          Exactly! These days, most guns are made on with CNC machinery and have much better tolerances than guns of the past. A Hi Point is built much better than the pocket pistol knockoffs(of European designs) that were made here in the US as a result of the 1968 laws prohibiting Saturday Night Specials.
          Just the product liability laws on all manufactured goods means that a gun should shoot properly. I certainly recommend shooting your defense weapon before you really need it just to make sure, but any gun sold in the US should fire right of the box with some accuracy.

      3. avatar Jim from LI says:

        A burden is a burden. You’re simply quibbling over how some people can manage it better than others. No one is saying “If this gun was 10% cheaper I could afford it and protect my family”. I’m saying the tax provides no benefit to me and others who do not hunt, and I prefer to retain as much of my income as possible, because I don’t believe the government knows better than myself what to spend it on. If hunters want to support wildlife, then raise the cost of a hunting license.

        If anyone can show me where a dime of this money was spent to support, create, maintain, or improve a shooting range, please do.

        1. avatar TSmith says:

          The Missouri Department of Conservation operates The Andy Dalton Shooting Range (100 yard Rifle/pistol range, $4 per hour per booth for adults. Children 6 – 15 shoot for free.) I think there’s 2 or 3 others I haven’t used.
          They also provide several free ranges, scattered around on Conservation Land and in state parks, without range officers.
          Near K.C. and St. Louis they offer Women’s Pistol Craft Courses for free and pointedly don’t ask if the ladies plan on hunting.
          If your state’s conservation agency’s not growing the number of gun owners, it probably needs some outreach and guidance.

        2. avatar Toni Smith says:

          thoroughly agree. I dont trust the govt one iota and see most taxes as not going for any real benefit as was hoped when they were first instituted. For example there was a tax put on the wages of workers here in australia that was to fund the age pension. We still pay that tax today but no one my age will ever see a single cent of it as not only have they removed it from your tax return form as to how much you have paid in to that fund but the separate fund for the age pension was moved into consolidated revenue with well over 400 million in the fund this was only 10-15 years after it was first put in place. Ever since i started working i have had to have “mandatory” superannuation (like a pension fund) but seeing what i have seen over the years I have no doubt whatsoever that it wont exist when i get to retirement age and that there will be no retirement for me unless i put things in place now for myself. Trust govt for anything…. GFY!!!!

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Jim from LI,

          First and foremost, I vehemently disapprove of the Pittman-Robertson tax, even though I am an avid hunter, for all the reasons listed in this article and the comments.

          Having said that, in direct response to your question, I am nearly certain that states have used that money to open and operate shooting ranges. There is a VERY nice new outdoor shooting range about 30 minutes west of me that my state conservation agency operates which is free to the public. So, some of that tax money is a benefit to you (or at least people in my state). Nevertheless, that does not make the tax right and I still believe it should not exist.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Why do you support the tax? It is a tax levied on consumers who have nothing to do with conservation. If I go to an indoor range and shoot a box of ammo a week, why am I being taxed? Or, to take it another way, should we not just tax everyone equally if we don’t care if the tax targets those using it? Shouldn’t conservation money be drawn from general taxes instead?

      Either way, I don’t see how it makes sense to tax ammo as if it is somehow directly related to conservation any more than adding a ‘conservation’ tax to boots because some people use them in national parks.

    3. avatar matt says:

      The program is regularly audited in all states. States have to account for how they use the monies and the act lays out how the monies can be used.

      BTW, one thing that the author of the opinion piece doesn’t mention is that the P-R act monies also go to supporting shooting ranges and firearms training. Not just hunter’s education programs and game lands/conservation.

      So yeah, some of the money goes directly to teaching people how to shoot in general and the facilities they use.

      For example my state used Pittman-Robertson monies recently (and IIRC they have to kick in ~20% of their own money on any projects) to completely renovate and significantly improve one of the state shooting ranges.

  5. avatar ColeInOregon says:

    Pitman Robertson funds are also used to build and maintain ranges, ranges that get used for self defense training. I just so happen to be heading to one these ranges to do a pistol and carbine class this morning.

    1. avatar ColeInOregon says:

      Here is more info:
      The distribution of funds includes a requirement that $8,000,000 per year must be used for Enhanced Hunter Education programs, including the construction, operation, and maintenance of public target ranges. States can use these funds to pay up to 90% of the costs with the other 10% derived from other sources, but not from other Federal grant programs.

      source:
      https://rangeservices.nra.org/funding-grants/pittman-robertson-funds/

      1. avatar Huntmaster says:

        Connecticut takes their share of the money and spends it all on environmental programs. They simply choose not to spend the money on the ranges. The few public ranges we do have were built years ago and they are funded and operated by local gun clubs under strict state supervision. Eliminate the tax for handguns. It’s just a shakedown.

        1. avatar Hydguy says:

          Sounds like a lawsuit is in order for misappropriation if funds.

        2. avatar ColeInOregon says:

          Either your state is illegally using funds or you are misinformed. I would wager the latter unless you can provide sources for your claim.

        3. avatar matt says:

          The $8 million a year that must be used for it isn’t $8 million EACH STATE. It is $8 million of the money must be used from the federal grant program across the states. The feds decide which states get how much.

          if it was $8 million per state per year, that is $400 million a year or $24.8 billion since the act was signed in to law. Or more than twice the taxes generated by the act.

          No, it is a minimum of $8 million over the whole US. States are within their rights (under the act) to ask to use the monies however they want. The federal grant program administrators simply have to approve at least $8 million in funding to range construction or improvement projects every year.

    2. avatar Jim from LI says:

      Monkeys will ride on the backs of unicorns before Raggedy Andy Cuomo will ever spend a dime on a New York.

  6. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I don’t know. I use whatever firearm is at hand to do whatever I need to do. Dropped a nice buck with a neck shot at about 100 yards once. Galil .223. Not my favorite hunting rifle, but it’s what I had in the truck. Last summer I dispatched a big water moccasin with my Smith 442. Only thing I had on me. Both clearly meant for defense. Only (?). Besides, every other program on the killing channels has some guy hunting with a “modern sporting rifle.” Whatever that is. Damned AR saw the light of day when my dad was driving a fifty something model Chevy.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Cars have gotten more modern Sirius instead of AM radio. GPS replaced paper road maps. Etc. Of course the AR is still the same old piece of shit it ever was.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Tell that to the (few) survivors of ISIS.

        1. avatar Merle 0 says:

          Indeed. I’m reading Al Bagdahdi was chased down with dogs and he was literally crying like a wee piglet.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Cliff, I didn’t say you couldn’t say you couldn’t kill someone with it. You can kill someone with a steak knife. That don’t make it a Randall # 1. My opinion of the AR wasn’t something I pulled out of my ass this morning. My experience with that weapon began in 1979 and didn’t end until I retired five years ago. I’ve got a little trigger time on that platform. I even think about buying one now and again for a truck rifle. If it gets stolen at least I won’t loose one of my real rifles and I’ll only be out $1000 +/-. Just can’t bring myself to do it.

        3. avatar Arc says:

          Merle, I don’t believe a word of it anymore, a more likely proposition is that Al Bagdahdi simply retired from the CIA’s acting department and a new boogieman will replace him.

      2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Cars have gotten more modern Sirius instead of AM radio.”

        Instead of, or in addition to? Granted, my sample size is small, a 2018 Honda CRV, but it has AM, FM, and XM-Sirius. (Or is that Sirius-XM?)

        AM is still *highly* relevant in vehicles, especially urban and suburban ones, for the news/traffic stations primarily on AM.

        (I’m not busting on satellite radio, the technology fascinates me, listening to radio from 25,000 miles away in geosync orbit is cool as hell…)

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Geoff, I’m sure your right, but I have no experience with traffic reports. I drove two hours from the beach house yesterday (after spending a couple of days) to the camp where I spent the night. Sitting on the deck now with a small fire in the pit. Anyway, only saw a couple of red lights the whole way. Spent a little time in most every city east of the Mississippi from Miami to NYC. Wouldn’t live anywhere that I needed a traffic report.

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          When I was commuting to south Tampa from Polk county on a daily basis, traffic reports on WFLA were a sanity saver…

        3. avatar Gordon in MO says:

          Don’t need a traffic report on my gravel road. In dry weather I watch for the dust cloud. In wet weather the creek is probably up so I can’t go anyplace anyway. (low water crossing)

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Geoff, family in Tampa. Always happy to see them. When they drive up here. The furthest south I drive is just this side of Crystal River for an offshore trip with Mike.

      3. avatar Merle 0 says:

        The AR now isn’t a pos. I get why you’d say that if your experience with them was from the 60s-90s. The improvements in the last 20 years, specifically in the magazines have made it far more reliable though. However, I’m a self admitted battle rifle fan boy. G3, M14, FAL, nothing like 20 rounds of semi auto .308 to ruin somebodies day with.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Merle, a man after my own heart. My go to battle rifle is my H&K 91. Forget how many have passed thru my hands over the years. Owned FALs too. Great rifles. Never an M-1A. Some experience with the M-14 when Uncle Sam was buying the ammo. Again, nice rifle. Did own a Beretta BM-62 for a decade or so. Very nice rifle. Even a Galil in 7.62 for a short time. Gave it up when I couldn’t find spare mags for it. My rule of thumb is ten mags per rifle. Minimum. Oh, and an M-1 rifle (rebarreled in 7.62, thank you very much) and a Springfield 1903. (I prefer the A3 variant). No gun safe is complete without one of each. As to the AR. My unfortunate experience with them continued well into the last twenty years. Your right about the mags. They have improved. Significantly. The gas impengment system still sucks. Always will. Had a conversation with my cousin night before last after dinner and over a whisky. We were at the beach house without the girls and watching old westerns and WWII movies. ARs came up. His experience began in ’78 with the 101st. Mine in ’79 with another unit. He lives in Boston and has to jump through hoops, but he owns several ARs. Same opinion. Gas system sucks. Since that’s the heart of the rifle…

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Many GI were indoctrinated during the 80s with the made “Mattel Toys” BS. Typically by halfass (now senior) NCO retreads left over from Vietnam. Mostly repeating gossip from the early fielding period. They were (mostly) full of crap and of were of the “must have machined steel/hardwood” FUDD segment.

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          neiowa, no negative influence from senior NCOs. They talked up everything we were issued from a C rat to a hand grenade. I was only 21 but I knew when someone handed me a turd. Looked like a piece of shit, performed like a piece of shit, but, got to admit, it was accurate when it went bang. Just wouldn’t go bang often enough. An AR is a poor weapons system. Just because it’s cheap and available today doesn’t make it good.

        4. avatar Hydguy says:

          Yea, the M-16 is such a turd that it’s only the longest serving main battle rifle in American history.
          The 5.56 Ball out performs the 7.62×52 Ball in penetration, is lighter so service members can carry more ammo, and is easily capable of being fired accurately by pretty much anyone who can lift 10lbs. Oh, and it’s not horrible in recoil when fired in full auto.
          But please, regale is with your tales of how much of a turd it is…

        5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Hydguy, just because it’s been in service a long time still doesn’t make it any better than it is. Never issued or owned an AR that didn’t malfunction sooner or later. No matter how well I maintained it. Don’t recall any of my other rifles malfunctioning. Ever.

  7. avatar enuf says:

    The care and management of public lands and wildlife should be out of the general fund. Everyone’s taxes should be paying for our country’s needs and necessaries. Whether you care about wildlife or wild places or not, it is part of what you as an American own, same as National Parks and Forests.

    While I do not like the tax I do see that so long as many Americans play this game of “Not My Problem”, the dysfunction in our politics and attitudes leaves no other option.

  8. avatar Biatec says:

    There really shouldn’t be taxes on rights.

    1. avatar Reason says:

      I whole heartedly agree. If poll taxes are unconstitutional. Taxes on arms and ammunition including sales tax should also be unconstitutional as well.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Yep, here too. Instead of a blanket tax, we should have “use fees”. Those who hunt, should contribute to the hunting programs in their area when they use them. Those who target shoot, should contribute to the range(s) they use, etc.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          As a hunter, sportsman, range user, and firearms owner, I can say that on top of the P/R taxes, those other fees are already in effect. My annual hunting /fishing license runs $180.00.
          That’s before I put in for any tags I try to draw. So, add another $50.00+/- on top of that.
          The range I belong to runs $150.00 per year. (That’ll drop a bit when I turn 62).

          So, I contribute to fish and wildlife and their environment twofold. I also help with upkeep of the range I believed no to.

    2. avatar Kapeltam says:

      There really shouldn’t be taxes.

      FIFY

      1. avatar enuf says:

        That doesn’t work. You cannot have any form of a country without paying for the services and responsibilities to protect and keep that that country running. There’s huge room to argue about how to pay for it, how to structure who pays in what ways and how much, but the necessity is unavoidable.

        The alternative is anarchy, which cannot work.

        1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          What services provided by the govenment could not be done better and cheaper by private actors? The Feds are ignoring their one job, to defend our borders. But hey, we can waste plenty of tax money shipping welfare to Israel, defending Saudi, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Poland and Ukraine.
          Nothing done by the state and local governments is useful any any way, shape or form.

        2. avatar Toni Smith says:

          so how did the govt manage prior to about 1914 when there was No Income Tax and very little of any other forms of tax either other than import and export duties for the federal govt and only tax on business at the state level (business has the ability to make a profit, the worker only exchanges time and labour for money)

        3. avatar matt says:

          Military to start with. Police and emergencies services for another. Roads.

          Anything that is a natural monopoly is generally better served either by the government providing the service or at least tightly regulating it (yes, that means electrical, sewer, water and what should be things like cable/internet, which aren’t and which is also why the US consumer typically pays about 2-5x as much as people in other developed countries for worse/slower services and typically has the option of maybe 1, occasionally 2 and rarely 3 providers for internet service. Where as most developed countries providers are tightly regulated and you have the option of many in most cases).

          Overseeing environmental regulations. Food and drug quality. Etc.

          Now you might not think that is all necessary, but before the pure food and drug act that founded the FDA and such as that, tens of thousands of people in the US were dying from adultered or pure fraudulent drugs, bad food, etc.

          Prior to 1914 the US also had income taxes during the Civil War. The 16th also changed the constitution so that taxes did not need to be apportioned. So any “it isn’t constitutional” arguments are totally wrong. It was tricky based on the original constitution to do an income tax fairly (though it was done from 1862-1872), but not outright banned by the constitution. After the 16th, no constitutional issues at all.

          Also excise taxes and tariffs used to be significantly higher than they are now (well, prior to Trump throwing around tariffs on seemingly everything anyway). Which is a passed on cost and not that dramatically different than a federal sales tax in the end.

        4. avatar MarkPA says:

          “Anything that is a natural monopoly is generally better served either by the government providing the service or at least tightly regulating it (yes, that means electrical, sewer, water and what should be things like cable/internet, . . .”

          I’m not convinced that government is the answer to natural monopolies.

          First, I’m not at all convinced that most natural monopolies are persistent. We thought telephone service was a natural monopoly until technology changed and competition in a given area became practical. Once government either provides the service or regulates the hell out of it, the monopoly remains long after technology changes to remove the natural barriers to entry.

          Second, there is a choice to be made. Pick a service; whether it be water or internet. Do you want government to run the natural monopoly as in-efficiently as it will? Or, a private interest running it as efficiently as it can to wring-out the maximum profit?

          You are choosing between the waste of government vs. the profit of the private monopolist. The waste of government will go on forever. The profit of the private monopolist always remains vulnerable to an interloper who will try to capture his share of the high profit. Do you really prefer the waste of government forever?

          The recent thought, that is exciting, is ever-increasing economies of scale. The development of technology has made us aware that more and more industries are becoming capable of ever-increasing economies of scale.

          Here is an example. When I was a kid TVs and radios ran on vacuum tubes and were hand-soldered by human beings. Once the transistor was invented the integrated circuit soon followed. Now, suddenly, the TV/radio manufacturer who could build the biggest factory had much lower costs of production per unit. Prices dropped. Monopoly actually favored lower prices to increase volumes.

          The same happened in the steel industry in the 19’th century.

          That’s what made the computer industry explode. The telecom industry exploded as well. We replaced copper wire with fiber optics made from sand! When I was a kid an international long distance phone call cost me $1/minute. Now, we vidio-phone for free – wirelessly. Is free too high a price for you to pay? Would you rather have a monopolist charging you for the cost of copper wire?

          When this phenomena – ever increasing economies of scale – applies, the optimal solution is to ALLOW a monopolist to do what he is naturally driven to do. That is, to use his monopoly power to build ever-increasing capacity to get the lowest possible cost of production so he can sell to more customers at ever decreasing prices. This optimal policy just doesn’t happen when government monopolizes the market; or regulates the hell out of the private monopolist.

          Occasionally, the monopolist is the best solution to the difficult market problem. Ironically, sewer service in my home village was a private association of consumers. Sort of a co-op. Government had nothing to do with it. The service cost $5/year per household. Nobody was interested in making a profit. My dad was the association president and he did his few hours of work per year for free.

          Often rural areas had a mom & pop phone company which had a monopoly over the territory they decided to serve. Because they ran the business efficiently they could afford to provide the service at a cost consumers were willing to pay. Had government tried to offer the service they would have been so inefficient they would have had to charge such a high price (or charge higher taxes to subsidize the phone business) that consumers couldn’t afford the service (or the taxes).

          If you really believe in state-control and centrally-planned economies then move to a country where this philosophy is held by the voters. See if you are happy. Conversely, if you believe that free-enterprice, for all its faults, is a little more efficient, then stick to this policy here.

      2. avatar Hydguy says:

        Are you one of those ‘taxation is theft’ nutters?
        Hate to tell you, but federal taxes are constitutional.
        However, I agree that federal income tax is unconstitutional.

        1. avatar Ton E says:

          Taxation is government endorsed extortion.

        2. avatar Ton E says:

          The 16th amendment is in constitution but that doesn’t make it moral. Just because the government robbing us is widely accepted doesn’t make it right. Prohibition was the law of the land at one point and time.

        3. avatar Hydguy says:

          Ton E: You poor thing. You have no clue.
          The federal government was given the power to levy taxes by the founding fathers. However, those powers to tax were not authorized to include an income tax.
          You should try to educate yourself on the subject, so you don’t continue to look like a moron. But you won’t do that.

        4. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          The determination of what is or isn’t theft predates the constitution by quite a few millennia. Taking something from someone against their will is theft regardless of who does it or how many people vote on it. The government doing it or the Constitution authorizing it doesn’t make is legitimate.

          Th founding fathers, while having many great ideas, and embracing liberty on a scale perhaps never before seen, were still men raised in a culture and given an education in which governments had been propagandizing people to justify their own existence for a long time. They still believed that some coercive monopoly of force was necessary. But they were able to set the stage and move the overton window to the point where later philosophers and thinkers, and economists would demonstrate that not only is government not necessary, it is in fact the source of the vast majority of problems, and whether it caused a problem or not government always makes it worse, and ALL TAXATION IS THEFT.

          The constitution, while it may be supposed to be the be all and end all of American law, is not the be all and end all of philosophy and morality. And we see clearly today that as Lysander Spooner famously pointed out the Constitution either authorizes the current situation OR has been powerless to prevent it.

          to address the discussion on monopolies going on above, there is no such thing as a “natural monopoly”. Free entry into the market and lack of any means to prevent others from using your ideas prevents that. Government restricts free entry into the market and creates the idea of “intellectual property” and this is what allows monopolies to develop.

          If you study history, any time you find a monopoly or cartel if you dig a little deeper you will find either that it didn’t really exist or that government policy was behind it.

      3. avatar Ton E says:

        He’s right it’s illegitimate the moment individual consent is taken away. The money one earns is their own property to with to do whatever they wish with it.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Perhaps you have heard of at “Republic”? or look it up.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          Exactly. It’s foolish to complain about taxes in principle. If we want any sort of government we have to pay for it.

          How much government we want is a matter for political debate.
          Where we want government and where we don’t want government is likewise legitimate.
          In any case, there will be some form of tax; and we can debate wise vs. foolish tax policy.

          There is something to be said for socializing the tax burden for things we want government to do. E.g., assuming the public wants the ATF then the ATF ought to be paid for by the public that wants it.

          There is something to be said for directing taxes at those who benefit by what is done by the money. If a tourist area wants to tax to promote tourism then levying a tax on hotels and restaurants makes some sense.

          When, decades ago, the gun-buying community was predominantly composed of hunters, it really DID make some sense to tax guns and ammo to promote conservation. We gun owners (our grandfathers) largely consented to be taxed because we supported the purpose to which the funds were put.

          This makes very little sense today. Gun owners for self-defense or marksmanship development probably mostly have some sympathy for conservation and hunting; enough to not oppose the guns and ammo tax. But, these segments of gun owners are not likely to graciously consent to onerous taxes to crush the gun culture; nor to pay for criminal law enforcement.

        3. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          I do not want the ATF and it is a crime and a sin to tax me to pay for it.

    3. avatar Southerner says:

      Indeed, any special tax, applied at whatever level on a constitutionally protected venue is prima facie unlawful. Notice this is not about generally applicable taxes such as a general sales tax placed on all products at any level.

      Special taxes or fees applied from production to consumer, no matter how the hunting and shooting sports communities may benefit, currently represent the constitutional Achilles heel of Second Amendment rights.

  9. avatar chip in NWFL says:

    I am not a hunter but a LOOOOONG time ago I did use to hunt dove on private land. I own very few “hunting” type guns and almost exclusively collect WWII firearms with a smattering of evil black rifles thrown in just for fun. When I buy the guns that I collect there is no additional tax due to them being third party transactions and not new. The more modern ones I have purchased are usually private party, I am RARELY ever the first owner of any of my guns. I do buy my ammo wholesale (not reloads) and have enough to crack a concrete slab so almost all of that has had the tax paid by me. With all that being said I really don’t mind paying the additional tax as long as it benefits other like minded people and their hobbies. Now before you jump my ass for defending taxation of a right know that I am of the mind that ALL taxation is theft, BUT I understand that to pay for common elements meant for the good of all citizens taxation is a necessary evil. I would be more in favor of spreading the conversation tax out among all taxpayers as opposed to just buyers of guns and ammo. But if you do that then the money would become general revenue and could be used for anything but conversation. And it’s that reason that I am in favor of the current status quo.

    1. avatar Toni Smith says:

      I would be more in favor of spreading the “conversation” tax out among all taxpayers as opposed to just buyers of guns and ammo.

      So a conversation tax now hey 😛 tax on first amendment as well.

      then again it may slow the left wing windbags down a little 🙂

      1. avatar chip in NWFL says:

        Oh, yeah I did typo that, LOL

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    I don’t hunt. Or fish. Or care really. But there’s no chance of these taxes being repealed. Nuff said…

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      Repealing these taxes is NOT the point! Nor do I hunt. So, the taxes I pay don’t support a cause (hunting) about which I am energized. Nevertheless, there are plenty of us gun owners who don’t hunt who care enough about conservation and the preservation of this shooting sport that they won’t get behind a movement to repeal the P-R taxes.

      NO! An outright repeal of the P-R tax is foolish. A REFORM movement is a different proposition. To redress the grievances Rice enumerates won’t happen either. Nevertheless, the effort on a REFORM act would NOT be FUTILE.

      A P-R REFORM act movement would be a PRETEXT to ADVERTISE what gun owners – ESPECIALLY those like you and I who do NOT hunt – have been doing all along to support conservation. We would be wrapping ourselves in the flag, motherhood and apple pie in the public eye.

      And, we would be making a “poll tax” argument that would be hard to dispute. We should say that we are all in favor of taxing guns and ammo used for hunting; even raising that tax if hunters agree. Yet, we insist on rolling-back the tax on guns and ammo used for self-defense and militia readiness.

      (Admittedly, drawing a taxation distinction between hunting, marksmanship, and militia-suited arms would be a futile exercise. But we would never get far enough to have to resolve such difficulties). We could stand on BOTH sides of competing virtuous issues: taxes for conservation; NO taxes on the exercise of a Constitutional right.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        Well that’s just special😋I’m a helluva lot more pizzed my taxes fund BABY MURDER! Write another endless article Mark…

  11. avatar SteveM says:

    Wait! There is a tax on the people that not all tax payers feel like they should have to be paying it? HALT THE PRESSES!

  12. avatar MarkPA says:

    Rice raises significant issues.

    First and foremost, I think we PotG ought to raise a ruckus about a Robinson-Pittman REFORM Act. NOT because of the legitimate criticisms Rice raises. RATHER, because in doing so, we will ADVERTISE what we gun-owners have been doing for so many decades to promote conservation.

    We PotG are mere voices “crying in the wilderness” about “Myyyyyy Riiiiiights!” No one pays any attention to what we say.

    Now with a P-R Reform Act to pursue, we are “aiming” our political muscle at Federal Revenue! Moreover, we are “aiming” at the sacred ENVIRONMENT! Politicians and voters will be compelled to pay attention.

    It was long ago – 2 centuries – established that “the power to tax is the power to destroy”. We can make a strong case that the P-R tax as applied to: self defense arms and ammunition; and militia-suited arms and ammunition, are taxes upon the exercise of the 2A. They are analogous to the now-UN-Constitutional poll tax.

    Congress – we now recognizing – is surreptitiously undermining the maintenance of a well-regulated militia necessary to the security of a free state. To say nothing of the core right of personal self-defense.

    We should be arguing that these taxes ought to be abolished entirely – to the extent that they apply to 2A activities.

    I expect NOT to gain any traction on my proposal for a Robinson-Pittman REFORM Act. NEVERTHELESS, I think we could get traction to STOP any changes to the P-R tax law that would impose the excise taxes on: serialized frames/receivers; and, reloading components. THIS is significant.

    In so doing we could promote the practices of building one’s own handguns and rifles. Likewise to promote reloading. Both as acts of defiance of unConstitutional taxes.

    You will respond – correctly – that another 10,000 personally-assembled guns and another 5,000 reloading practitioners won’t matter. Yet, in the public eye, actively promoting personally-built guns and personally loaded ammunition will be a “shot heard round the world”. We PotG will DEFY government attempts to control us through taxation and registration (via the 4473 form).

    It will be hard – probably impossible – to tax 80% receivers. Round TWO of promoting personally assembled guns (from finished and documented receivers) will be the promotion of buying and finishing 80% receivers. This act of economic and political defiance of gun-control will draw attention to our petitions for redress of grievances.

    The gay-rights movement drew attention to it’s petitions for redress of grievance by marching in colorful costumes (sometimes remarkably brief – pardon the pun). They drew attention to themselves and made remarkable cultural progress in a relatively short time – couple of decades. We gun owners aren’t going to march in our boxers. Yet we can look for opportunities – such as P-R reform – to compel voters to pay attention to us.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “I expect NOT to gain any traction on my proposal for a Robinson-Pittman REFORM Act.”

      “Reforming” it risks it being hijacked for Leftist goals.

      You’re right, it raises some *significant* issues, and if we are going to be consistent that civil rights ought not to be taxed (poll taxes, anyone?) we may be required to do without the revenue stream that ‘Pittman-Robertson’ provides.

      I fear our greatest battles are on the near horizon. If we win ‘bigly’ with the NY Pistol decision, the Leftists aren’t going to slink away with their tails between their legs. If they are forced to “co-exist” (wouldn’t that be so *sweet* to throw “co-exist” right in their fvck faces?) with guns, they are gonna strike back, and likely in ways we can’t imagine yet.

      But they *will* hit back.

      We may be forced to learn to get along without the money Pittman-Robertson provides. Unless we can roll it into a general tax on sporting goods in general.

      Or something. I dunno. Ask me later when I fully wake up. Zzzzzzzzz…

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        “ ‘Reforming’ it risks it being hijacked for Leftist goals.” This statement IS correct, technically. But we have to be practical and judicious when applying it. No general ever won a war by refraining from one tactic, and another, and yet another for fear that the enemy might hijack his tactic for their own purposes.

        Remember the debate leading to the Heller decision? Many PotG – notably the NRA – were terrified that Heller could lose. It was a 50:50 shot at BEST! Those intrepid legal scholars (the Cato guy who bankrolled it, SAF, lawyers and others) persevered – and they WON! That was the foundation for: McDonald; Caetano; and now NYSRA v NYC. The timid will never prevail.

        The nice aspect of obviously futile legislative efforts is that they are so UN-likely to succeed that they would be hard to hijack.

        Imagine, for illustration purposes, a campaign to move SBSs and SBRs from the NFA’34 to the GCA`68. No chance of that happening. We might use such a campaign to undermine the foolish distinctions existing among the various classes of firearms. To illuminate the foolish way Congress “controls” firearms. Imagine a display of a shotgun receiver repeatedly re-configured as: a shotgun; SBS; AOW; firearm that is NONE OF THE ABOVE! And, explain that a mistake made by a gun-owner can get you 10 years for failing to register and pay a $5 tax! (Yes, I know that that is not precisely correct but imprecision is used by the gun-controllers).

        “I fear our greatest battles are on the near horizon. If we win ‘bigly’ with the NY Pistol decision, the Leftists aren’t going to slink away . . . ” You are ABSOLUTELY right on this one.

        Suppose we got our wet dream: Constitutional Carry. Then, we would be in a fight for our lives! The gun-controllers would push to make our municipalities “checkerboards” of Free-Gun-Zones and Gun-Free-Zones. Imagine adjacent red and black spaces. We can carry while standing in a red square but will be violating a GFZ if we step in a black square.

        SCOTUS will be extraordinarily reluctant to stomp on municipalities’ power to use their discretion about designating “sensitive” places such as schools, Starbucks, gas stations and grocery stores.

        The Blue states will convert from Won’t-Issue to Can’t-Carry much like DC is. Any law-abiding citizen, resident or non-resident, can get a DC carry permit. You just need money for the training and fees.

        Remember Emily of “Emily Gets Her Gun”? She was one of the few individuals who was issued a DC carry permit in the Won’t Issue era. Nevertheless, she wrote that she couldn’t “walk her dog” without crossing a GFZ in DC. So much of the District is Federal land that GFZ laws forbid carry there.

        So, we would be facing another Heller-like scenario. Find a place where States-rights don’t apply. That’s DC or one of the territories such as PR or USVI. Get a case to SCOTUS. Persuade 5 justices to conclude that the municipality is in violation of the Constitution by forbidding carry in zones that are not truly sensitive.

        We would have to find a really peculiar place in DC, such as a dog-walk park, which the DC government declared a GFZ because the land is Federally owned. Then make our case.

        If we picked PR, USVI, etc. we would have to persuade SCOTUS that the constitutional relationship between USA and that particular territory is such that the US Constitution trumps the constitutional relationship. Then, we would have to do the whole thing all over again in a Blue state; McDonald like.

        GFZs are merely a single illustration of the flak we will take in late 2020. It could take a century to overcome the gun-controllers’ lash-back after a win in NYSRA v NYC.

        1. avatar Jaque says:

          Now is not the time to reverse, undo, nullify, or try to remove Firearm Laws, when communists control the House of Representatives. The change we desire for gun freedoms will be hijacked for communist purposes against us.

          Only when we have an all Republican majority Congress with a Republican President does the power exist to change gun laws beneficial to gun owners. But nothing will occur that benefits gun owners and strengthens the second amendment unless a good plan exists and the will to execute the plan exists. The money for effective lobbyists must also exist. History shows us the Republicans to be lacking in the ability to plan and execute those plans as one body. Instead they fight among themselves so nothing gets done that benefit the people. Our two party Republic is a most ineffective and inefficient system that has done little to preserve our individual freedoms as the constitution defines. Since the second amendment was written and became law is has been chiseled away by congress of both political parties. The few tiny gains have come via the courts or new restrictive gun laws have been blocked effectively by Republicans.

          Unfortunately I see my country is drifting toward communism, which means a troubling future for gun rights in America.

    2. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” It was long ago – 2 centuries – established that “the power to tax is the power to destroy”. We can make a strong case that the P-R tax as applied to: self defense arms and ammunition; and militia-suited arms and ammunition, are taxes upon the exercise of the 2A. They are analogous to the now-UN-Constitutional poll tax. ”

      I don’t think this is going to hold up in the courts.

      The poll tax wasn’t declared unconstitutional just because it was a poll tax. The constitutional issues stem from the use of the poll tax as a means to deny certain classes of people– namely, southern blacks– their voting rights. You may be able to make the argument that the gun and ammo tax represent a 2A infringement (they do). But an equally potent counter-argument can be made that 2A doesn’t guarantee ownership of more than one firearm or bulk purchases of ammo. One pistol and one box of ammo meets the requirements of the right to keep and bear arms. As long as the tax is not so high as to be punitive (an arbitrary boundary) it is not restrictive.

      What has passed constitutional scrutiny is the plethora of special taxes that we have on other products. Booze, cigarettes, gasoline, communications, entertainment etc etc are all targeted with their own little dedicated taxes, all with “the power to destroy.” And yet, all challenges on that basis have so far failed.

      So, if we go after the P-R tax, its a legislative effort, not a legal one. The courts would be of little help on this one.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        I don’t think you “get it”.

        The poll tax was perfectly Constitutional. There was nothing Congress or SCOTUS could do about it. The Constitution provided that the states could establish the “qualifications” of electors. And, it was implicit that governments have broad powers to tax whatever they could get their hands on (absent a Constitutional limit).

        So, how could America stop poll taxes? Make them unConstitutional via the 24th Amendment.

        My view (not that I like my view) is that Congress and each state have such broad powers to tax that they could effectively tax just about anything.

        Arguably, SCOTUS could strike-down a Congressional tax law on some Constitutional pretext. Imagine an excise tax on rosaries. SCOTUS could use the 1A as a pretext to strike such a tax. But the relevant question is whether SCOTUS would grant cert to find a tax unConstitutional. What if, for example, SCOTUS were stacked with Protestants who wouldn’t mind if Congress taxed rosaries?

        Our problem is that we can’t really count on SCOTUS granting cert to a case arguing that a tax on the right of the People to keep and bear arms is unConstitutional. We could only count on SCOTUS if we re-elect Trump and then elect and re-elect Pence. That’s not certain and it’s a medium-term proposition.

        I don’t see the Senate passing a bill to impose an onerous tax on guns or ammunition in the near future. Nor do I see Trump signing such a bill. Nevertheless, I don’t find it hard to believe that the Democrats will control both chambers of Congress and the Presidency – some day in the future. If that were to occur, then an onerous tax on guns or ammunition (or the license to possess guns or ammunition) would be the fast track to killing the 2A. And, under such a scenario, I doubt that SCOTUS would take a case or rule to protect the 2A.

        We need to take this case to the People. Is a poll tax offensive to our principles? Apparently so, We the People ratified the 24A.

        Would a tax on speech, publication, assembly, or rosaries be offensive to our principles? If so, when threatened by such a tax, we ought to adopt a Constitutional amendment to explicitly prohibit such taxes.

        Now, then, if We the People don’t support the 2A we can alter it via a Constitutional amendment. (That wouldn’t change the natural right to arms; merely would it dilute or destroy the Constitutional guarantee to the right to arms.)

        If We the People are not prepared to amend the 2A; then why should we suffer to allow Congress, the Executive and SCOTUS to use the subterfuge of a tax law to eviscerate the 2A? If we suffer this subterfuge then we shouldn’t be surprised when Congress taxes rosaries.

        1. avatar UpInArms says:

          Oh, I “get it” all right, and our points of view are not that far apart, if at all.

          We both agree (at least I think we do) that the solution does not lie with the courts, but in the legislative process. Getting rid of P-R would take no more than passing legislation, a much simpler and more realistic goal than passing an amendment a la 24 just to make a tax on guns and ammo unconstitutional issue. Either way, its the legislative process that gets the job done, not the legal process.

          Lizzie Warren has already gone down that road and proposed increasing taxes to punitive levels. The city of Seattle has already driven every gun shop out by adding taxes. There are other examples. The difference between these taxes and P-R is that they are clearly and unmistakenly weaponizations of the tax codes. The rates are excessively high, and the collected revenues are not dedicated to a “higher” cause like conservation. The money just gets dumped into general revenues.

          It is very unlikely that any court challenges to these taxes will carry the day, even though they are clearly designed to be infringements on the 2A. The best hope of overturning them lies with the legislatures, and that, of course, means crushing the Democrats next year (unless they crush themselves, which they seem hell bent on doing).

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          Yes, I agree; I think we are not far apart.

          It occurs to me that Roberts is apt to take the view that if citizens want to elect legislators who will tax them for something (like ObamaCare) then it’s the citizens’ problem if they don’t like the result.

          It would take a dramatic change of heart for SCOTUS to decide to dig into tax policy. They might take a case if there were a different wrinkle. E.g., this tax is so egregious a violation of the 1A, Commerce Clause, etc.

          Our problem is that voters elect legislators. So, legislators will do as they please as long as they think their respective voters will re-elect them.

          I don’t think we can get at this problem of gun rights by dealing directly with legislators. We can’t cure the problem other than by dealing with their voters.

          We can stop legislation in the Senate, but not in the House. But stopping legislation in the Senate is good enough.

          Conversely, we can’t push a change through that we want without both the House and Senate, plus the President.

          So, our best shot is to gain control over the Senate. We have 42 Right-to-Carry states which send 84 Senators to Washington. We only need 60 Senators to block legislation. Why can’t we convince voters in Right-to-Carry states to make their Senators gun-friendly?

          I think the threat to raise taxes on guns and ammunition to prohibitive levels is actually a lever for PotG to introduce as the philosophical answer to the general gun-rights/-control debate.

          Well, Mr. & Ms. Voter. There is your opportunity. If you don’t want guns then tax them out of existence. Make it so that only the rich can afford self-defense, pest control, hunting. Is that what you want? Does that accord with your understanding of rights under our American governmental principles?

          It’s consistent with Democrat policies of banning all handguns except those that are too expensive for the poor to buy. The bans on all models except the Army/Navy models. The bans on “Saturday Night Specials”. Who suffered under these bans?

          Taxes won’t do anything to control criminals. They will still make, smuggle, steal or borrow guns. Don’t imagine that somehow taxing guns will make smuggling impractical. So, you and your fellow middle-class and working-class neighbors will be priced-out of the self-defense “market”. When seconds count you will all have to call dial-a-prayer.

          Shall we deal with the opiate crisis by taxing pain medication? The auto-accident crisis by taxing cars to prohibitive levels? Hate speech by taxing internet connections?

          There is a reason our grandparents passed a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit poll taxes. Such taxes as a means of rationing Constitutional rights just don’t accord with our values as a nation.

          Perhaps this line of reasoning will register with voters. In stead of thinking about what gun-control might work (UBC, waiting periods, licensing) they will get the bigger picture. Guns for all the people? Or, guns only for the wealthy?

  13. avatar NEPAdam says:

    I shoot pistol / rifle 100 yards and under on my own property. However, when I go shooting with friends it is often at a public range funded by these taxes. I’ll pay the tax to make sure people have a place to safely practice. Hunter education programs are extremely important. I don’t hunt, but I live in the country, and I’m safer due to education. On a related side note, I don’t have kids, but pay taxes to fund schools. Again, education is important. As long as that money is being used to teach/fund properly, I’m OK with it.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      I’m not aware of any public ranges here in CA. I have to pay $17 to $20 to enter either of the two closest private outdoor ranges to me. A logical pay-as-you-play scenario, which I agree with (though I wish the entry fees were lower).

      Otherwise, if we want to shoot for “free”, we have to drive an hour or more out to the far desert to public BLM land, which sucks up about $20 in gasoline anyhow. But at least there you have a modicum of privacy, with no range bosses or undercover LEOs hanging around.

      1. avatar Biatec says:

        Illinois does not have any as far as I am aware either.

  14. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘…a single mother, on a limited budget who wants to purchase an inexpensive self-defense gun is being forced to spend an extra $20-$30…’

    The hoplophobes would love to see that be an extra $200-$300.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      To fight ‘climate change’.

    2. avatar Kapeltam says:

      I’ve had some anti-gunners tell me it should be a thousand dollar tax on guns and ammo. They really don’t have limits when it’s someone else’s money.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Propose a compromise, $1000 tax on guns and $1000 poll tax for the right to vote. If you aren’t rich enough to warrant having the right to self defense you shouldn’t have the right to participate in government.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          Beautiful! You won the interwebs award for the year on this one!

          This is a succinct argument that strikes at the heart of a moral principle of equality under our system of government.

          Quite unlike the English tradition of noblemen and commoners, we suffer no distinction of rank as a matter of principle. To say that one man may vote but his wife may not is repugnant to our principles for more than a couple of generations.

          To argue that Michael Bloomberg and his squires may carry a gun but his cleaning lady may not is repugnant. But THIS argument then gets confused by arguments about how great retired NYC police officers are at marksmanship and how poor his cleaning lady is at marksmanship.

          You have reformed the equality argument cleanly and simply as a TAX issue. Bloomberg can pay the taxes for his squires’ guns; and, pay the taxes for them to vote. But, he won’t pay the tax for his cleaning lady to defend herself; nor to vote!

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Classism and racism are at the heart of modern liberalism. And in order to hide their racism they project that racism onto those who disagree. For instance, everybody (in their minds) knows that poor blacks and Hispanics are too dumb to figure out how to get a free government issued ID card, so requiring them to get one in order to vote is an act of racism because you want to take the vote away from blacks and Hispanics. So not being prejudiced constitutes racism and being prejudiced constitutes caring for the poor, stupid people of color. You’re never going to actually reason with these people, at least not until they’ve been mugged.

          For slightly more reasonable people, you need to drive home the concept that what you’re talking about is not the right to possess a dangerous weapon, but the right to self defense, which isn’t even a human right but a natural right. After all, does the mother bear not have the right to use violence to protect her cubs? So if you have a right to self defense you logically have a right to prepare for your defense. Now taking up karate can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s not much use when confronted by a man (or men) with a gun(s). The only defense against men with guns is to have a gun yourself. The bargain was supposed to be ‘give up your guns and we’ll disarm the criminals’ but it’s never worked that way and when the citizen has submitted to that Faustian bargain it usually results in the government itself being the entity he needs protection from.

  15. avatar Sam Hill says:

    That is probably one of the best tax laws in the country, and since it was started in 1937, it can be said to be established law. Why then is it good you ask. The government has since 1937 made all firearms regardless of make, model, or type a hunting gun. Screw all this assault weapon bs, the US government has proclaimed any and all firearms hunting devices. Since, again 1937.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      You know, that’s actually a good argument. I’m going to think more about this and how I might wordcraft a response to a non-POTG in a future conversation.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      This is a fantastic argument! I love it!

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      You are trying to use logic in an illogical system.

    4. avatar GOOD2GO says:

      This is a great thought but Piitman-Roberston was originally designed to not only be for conservation of wildlife but also for shooters. In theory more of the funds should go to help create more shooting opportunities like public ranges. The issue is most local governments won’t approve said ranges but everyone is all for the tax payer dollars when it comes to wildlife conservation. Funny thing is that sportsman actually asked for this tax when wildlife here in america was on the brink of disaster and I would assume a much higher percent of the people chipping in to this fund were sportsman. Something like 80% of the funds come from the shooting and firearm industry but only 20% go back to non conservation/hunting but more would go back to the shooting industry if we could get more local government support with the planned ranges. I am a avid hunter and a avid shooter but honestly most of the dollars I spend on gear go towards shooting. One more important imbalance to me is the huge number of people enjoying the wildlife and habitat that the pittman roberston act pays for that are not chipping in and actually fighting the hunting communities. In my opinion the entire outdoor recreation industry should be chipping into this plan thus lowering the amount levied against shooters and hunters.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Excellent points.

        I do NOT think we should be investing in a fight to get rid of the 10/11% tax. Not a good use of limited resources.

        Rather, I think that if the Democrats are talking about amending the P-R Act as a vehicle to impose onerous economic costs on gun owners then we have an opportunity to seize upon.

        THEY brought it up. We PotG sat here quietly and paid our taxes; just as our grandfathers asked to be taxed. Well, now, we have some complaints about how this tax works TODAY. Make Rice’s points.

        We should complain that states are not spending money on maintaining public ranges. This is unfair since most of the P-R taxes are paid NOT by HUNTERS, but rather by marksmen and women. Markspersons are bearing the brunt of the tax but being screwed out of the ranges by hoplophobe Democrats.

        And, we won’t stand for abusing the P-R Act for the purpose of levying a “Poll Tax” on an enumerated right. We will go to war – politically – if the Democrats want to impose onerous taxes upon gun owners without our consent.

        I think we have a chance of making GOOD PR for ourselves – a back-fire result that the Democrats brought upon themselves.

        I think we can make good points about how the P-R tax is not benefiting those who pay most of the tax.

        I think we can make a Poll Tax argument; while we PotG have consented to the P-R tax at its modest levels (10%/11%) it is still a tax upon an enumerated right. That ought to give an honorable citizen pause. Now, Democrats are threatening to raise this tax to a level that will price poor people out of the opportunity to defend themselves. This threatens the VERY SAME ISSUE that the Poll Tax raised.

        Do our fellow voters really want to make self-defense a right guaranteed only to the RICH? You fellow voters ought to think very seriously about this. It is a threat to the social contract that all Americans are – in principle – equal before the law. We don’t extend 1A or 4A or 5A rights exclusively to those who can afford to pay for these rights. Why should the right to self-defense not be accorded the same protection as the right to vote?

  16. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

    Narrow taxes, like P-R and NFA (and “Tea Taxes”) are likely unconstitutional. They generally haven’t come up for review (except for “poll taxes”). At least P-R taxes are no longer part of the common fund and are going towards hunter education, wildlife preservation, etc (before P-R, there was still an excise tax on firearms and ammunition, it just went directly to the US Treasury). Warrens’ tax plan on firearms and ammunition, if it came to fruition, would likely be ripe for litigation.

    Instead of eliminating P-R, I would propose something different: expand it to include other “outdoor use” items such as boats, RVs, ATVs, camping gear, ski equipment, mountain bikes, with exemptions for Farm Use items.

    Not too many impoverished are buying new ATVs (camping gear on the other hand…). And most of those are not only big ticket items, it also targets people that (a) can likely afford it (b) people who make use of the great outdoors and thus have a vested interest in preserving it.

    It also no longer becomes a narrow tax, and much more revenue would be generated. Of course, it also likely means that the scope of where those funds can be used would grow – eg, to Forestry or US Dept of Interior.

    While no one likes taxes, we do have to understand that they are necessary. Saving the environment and protecting wildlife and other resources shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

  17. avatar Dave G. says:

    I don’t hunt either, but I don’t see the Pittman-Robertson Tax as that big of a burden. While I agree that conservation is everybody’s responsibility, if I can make a small extra contribution to conservation (and to the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges) by means of this tax, I’m all for it. And like others have implied in this comments section, it’s good for our image as POTG. Now, let’s make the public aware of the substantial contribution we make to conservation.

    1. avatar Dennis says:

      Our contribution to wildlife and the wild spaces is already well documented, just one more thing the “enlightened” choose to ignore. If anyone ,ANYONE, can prove to me that this new tax would actually go to those programs, and not to improve the lot of the illegal aliens or bail out California,,,I might be ok with it.

      1. avatar Dave G. says:

        @Dennis:
        It’s not a new law. Pittman-Robertson was enacted in 1937.

        1. avatar Dennis says:

          Understand, I guess my underlying concern is anytime a tax like this is scrutinized, there are forces at work trying to bastardize the original intent into something that more suits their end game.

  18. avatar Mike V says:

    I don’t hunt or fish or go birdwatching so the benefits primarily go to those who like that stuff. Fudds.

    I know I buy more guns and ammo than any of the hunters I know, so my contribution is probably higher as well.

    Wonder how many Fudds consider that when they advocate for banning the stuff I buy.

  19. avatar moreadventuresonotherplanets says:

    The Government will never overturn a money making tax law. It reminds me of the promises made after one Freeway in our area was finally paid for because the fees were supposed to expire. Naturally the Government lied and keep the fees and even increased them.

  20. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    It worked so well at conservation that the Dingell-Johnson Act was passed. It does the same thing for fishermen by taxing their equipment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets the money directly, it doesn’t go through the general treasury. Archers also pay the same tax. It was not an anti-gun conspiracy.

  21. avatar NORDNEG says:

    A few years ago my state, (which I hate by the way) decided to put this tax into their general fund pot, then they spend it on whatever the dems that run this state want to, to make this craphole look attractive to out of staters & businesses,

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      @NORDNEG:
      Isn’t that a violation of Federal Law?

  22. avatar Dude says:

    Brainiac Liez Warren wants to eliminate all student loan debt. Total student loan debt is expected to be 2 trillion by the time she hypothetically takes office. You think the only people paying to bail out those spoiled brats will be other college graduates?

  23. avatar Aleric says:

    I wonder if all of that money is being used for its intended purpose. Liberals love to set up a tax then NEVER pay into the program they started while constantly asking for more money.

  24. avatar Nanashi says:

    “The tax in question is not an ordinary form of tax, but one single in kind, with a long history of hostile misuse against the freedom of the press. The manner of its use in this case is, in itself, suspicious; it is not measured or limited by the volume of advertisements, but by the extent of the circulation of the publication in which the advertisements are carried, with the plain purpose of penalizing the publishers and curtailing the circulation of a selected group of newspapers.”

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      @Nanashi:
      Specifically, what tax are you talking about?

  25. avatar Ton E says:

    Money that’s stolen from us by the government isn’t being used how it was intended!? I’m shocked shocked I tell ya!!

  26. avatar Minuteman says:

    I don’t see a problem myself as long as the taxes are used for the intended purpose. The future of gun ownership is having ranges and conservation lands preserved for future generations to use and grow by. I see this as a divide and conquer issue once again.

  27. avatar American Patriot says:

    Were headed towards a socialist country in leaps & bounds, and if Trump doesn’t win WATCH OUT! So I urge every american to seriously think carefully about their vote in 2020!

    You see what the left is capable of doing when their not in power…..I don’t think most of you here want to see what they do if they have total power!

    TRUMP 2020
    or Complete Civil unrest in 2021

  28. avatar ROBERT says:

    STUPID ARGUMENTS. FIRST OF ALL, THIS ACT WAS REQUESTED BY SPORTSMAN-HUNTERS, NOT POLITICIANS.
    DO YOU OR YOUR FAMILY EVER USE STATE PARKS AND FORESTS? HOW DO YOU THINK THEY ARE FUNDED?
    DID YOU KNOW THAT MARYLAND HAS HAD A NON-GAME SPECIES WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST 100% FUNDED BY THIS ACT?
    THIS IS ONE GOOD ITEM YOU CAN THROW IN THE FACE OF ALL THOSE ANTI-GUN NUTS! JUST REMIND THEM THAT IF THEY USE STATE PARKS, THEY ALL PAY A WHOLE LOT LESS (OR FREE) FOR USE OF THOSE PARKS DUE TO US.

  29. avatar Jeff says:

    In New Jersey, I would estimate that 80% of the shooters using the shooting ranges located at the Wildlife Management Areas are non-hunters. We let them continue to use the range under the theory that recreational shooters contribute a significant portion of the money needed to operate the gun range through excise taxes.

  30. avatar Anymouse says:

    I agree in theory, but codifying what is a hunting gun isn’t going to be easy. The alternative is to let BATFE define whether each gun has a hunting purpose or not. Handguns can be used for hunting. Small calibers can be used for rabbits and squirrels. Large calibers can be used for deer, hogs, elk, and bear. I’ll assert .25, .32, and .380 mouse guns don’t have a hunting application, but someone could probably come up with an example.

    1. avatar ViejoTorro says:

      32 Smith and Wesson
      32 Colt
      32-20 all have long history as hunting rounds.
      Further 32 caliber pistols have ruled the roost in center fire Olympic Competition.

    2. avatar Minuteman says:

      Any mouse you hit the nail on the head! The push is going to be to outlaw guns and ammo that aren’t vainly seen as having a hunting purpose. This would help the anti gun people in their designation of no sporting type weapons. There is always a hidden agenda and you exposed it. Everyone needs to wake up. There is going to be a push to outlaw non sporting weapons and this agenda will be moved along at all our expense if we fall for this dirty trick.

      1. avatar Dennis says:

        And the description of sporting weapons will immediately become narrower every year! Baby steps!!

    3. avatar MarkPA says:

      I doubt we would ever get this far in drafting legislation. Nevertheless, an implementation is feasible.

      Let’s suppose there are taxes for conservation that are limited to hunting guns. We simply have to define what sort of hunting is taxable and which is not. Is feral hog hunting taxable? Rodent hunting? Deer hunting? Duck Hunting? OK, now that’s nailed down.

      Then, we simply have a “stamp tax” mechanism whereby you have to buy a “stamp” (like a duck stamp) to affix to your hunting gun. Perhaps it would be a metal tag showing the serial number of your gun; you attach it to the stock with wood screws.

      If the game warden finds you hunting ducks or hogs with a gun that has no “stamp” you get fined. It’s not impossible; it’s not impractical. Might never be enforced as well as taxes on motor vehicles; but it could be made to work.

  31. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I don’t really mind this tax because it has been of good benefit to conservation, something I willingly make donations to support. Yes, you could argue it is unfair to buyers who never do anything to enjoy or derive any benefit from preserving habitat, or use public lands. I’m not sure how big of a proportion of the shooting public that represents. I could be persuaded to eliminate the tax on non-sporting guns and ammunition but there are a number of public initiatives supported by unfair taxes, such as property taxes used to fund public education. Should people without children be required to pay those taxes? The question is, does society as a whole benefit from a public education system?* Conservation kind of falls within that same realm of societal benefits.

    * The actual quality of public education varies by locale and is a subject for another discussion.

  32. avatar Ralph says:

    I don’t agree with most of what the G does, so I don’t think I should have to pay any federal income tax.

    And there are a lot of other laws that I think should not apply to me.

  33. avatar Jr says:

    And remember anytime a tax is earmarked for something in particular, that just means that much less money can be allocated from other sources.

  34. avatar Will Drider says:

    I don’t want “MY”Taxes to pay for abortions, welfare, food stamps, discounted public housing, B.S. Special Prosecutor or illegitiment politically motivated impeachment witchhunts either. Gov does as it wants.

    I don’t mind the CURRENT gun/ammo taxes nor there designated use.

  35. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Nothing is “for free”. The management of wildlife costs $$$. We could hunt the animals to extinction? That use to happen all the time before the turn of the century. I have yet to hear of an argument from the Libertarian crowd how you manage animal populations. Especially across state lines.

    The Progressive Republican president Theodore Roosevelt created the national park system and outlawed the commercial hunting of deer and other wild game. It’s true the government, 100 plus years latter, has abused the park system. I don’t understand why states like Utah and Nevada are 70% to 80% federal land???

    Do we just hunt the deer population until they are all gone?

    What is wrong with everyone paying the tax? Is this not the same concept as the Fair Tax? The poor and the rich all pay the same tax.
    Personally I like the Fair Tax.

    1. avatar Toni Smith says:

      that is why i like the system hong kong used to have (not sure if they still do). Under a certain income which i think was about 15% above the poverty line you paid No Tax, above that everyone payed 10% no matter what their income. What was found was it encouraged people saving and investing rather than just spending on frivolous stuff so they in turn became wealthy themselves and had more money to spend which helped the economy.

    2. avatar Toni Smith says:

      personally and from common law there should only ever be a single tax and at no greater than is just and fair which has commonly been regarded in common law systems as being no greater than 10%. ONE SINGLE TAX! not multiple taxes at many different and often extortionate rates. One of the reasons the founders went to war was excessive taxation and from what i have heard that was only 3% at the time. There also was no federal income tax until the early 1900’s either in the US or here in australia and in both cases it was the international banks putting pressure on the govt that got it in. Why do you think income Tax and the Fed were created around the same time in the US? In both our countries now we have multiple taxes on the same items often compounding each other so one is charged and then another is charged on the new tax included price and often 3-5 times. Doing this sort of thing is downright treason on the part of our govts considering they are supposed to be our representatives under a Common Law System not a MARTIAL LAW SYSTEM which all dictatorships are

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