Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling Could Mean Trouble for Gun Owners

US Supreme Court Quill v North Dakota Wayfair Online Sales Tax

In a decision handed down today, the Supreme Court upheld a South Dakota law that requires online retailers with no presence in the state to collect sales taxes.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court overturned a 1992 court precedent barring states from requiring businesses that have no physical presence in the state to collect their sales taxes.

Delivering the opinion of the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the physical presence rule in that former case, known as Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, is unsound and incorrect.

That’s bad for online retailers (who will eventually have to track, collect, report and remit sales taxes for 50 states) as well as consumers (because no one wants to pay a tax they didn’t have to until now). But gun owners could be particularly affected.

How? Let’s say you live in California. Or New York. And let’s also say that those states have unusually strict gun control laws, up to and including outlawing or requiring registration of some types of firearms. Oh, wait. They already do.

Anyway, it’s easy for those states to guesstimate the number of firearms that are subject to newly enacted registration laws. Laws at which gun owners have largely raised a defiant middle finger. So they have a general idea of the number of non-compliant gun owners in those states.

What if a Jerry Brown or an Andrew Cuomo — when they’re not building train lines no one will ever use or trying to figure out why no one wants to produce movies in Syracuse — decides they’ve had enough of this blatant non-compliance.

With the new requirement for retailers to collect and report on line sales taxes, states will have the right to audit retailers to ensure compliance. That means those states will be able to, say, take a look at Midway USA’s sales data for California and, while they’re doing that, take note of anyone who’s purchased Magpul AR furniture. Or New York’s busy bean counters could comb through Lucky Gunner’s books and see who’s purchased .223 ammunition.

Do you see where this is going?

It wouldn’t take a great intellect to then compare the names and addresses of those purchasers to their firearms registration records. With that information in hand, it’s not too big a leap to think that those names and addresses with no corresponding firearms registration information might get a knock at their doors some time in the not-too-distant future.

We’re living in interesting times.

 

h/t John Dingell III

comments

  1. avatar John Q Public says:

    …You mean…On the cusp of “Dangerous, Dystopian Times…”

  2. avatar TruthTellers says:

    Interesting times, we’re living in pre-revolution times. I’m sick of paying for a corrupt and incompetent gov’t at both state and national levels. Why should I waste my time in life propping up a system that exists to serve itself? Americans are closer to slaves today than ever before and I’d rather die than not live free.

    1. avatar NH Guy says:

      One could make the argument that we are more highly taxed and less free than our forefathers were under British rule. Almost all the limitations on the Federal government set forth in the Constitution have been circumvented by SCOTUS rulings, Constitutional amendment (income tax, popular election of senators), or are just plain disregarded by the legislative bodies. The right to speak freely (if one is a conservative) or to express or live ones religious faith (if one is a Christian) have never been more constrained than today. Government at all levels seems to operate only for the benefit of career politicians, career bureaucrats, and well connected “special” individuals and interest groups. The vast majority of us are nothing but cash cows who are expected to work, pay whatever taxes our “betters” tell us we must pay to fund their favorite programs, and occasionally participate in faux elections to give everything the veneer of legitimacy. Plus, we’ve lost control of our southern border and have allowed tens of millions of illegal aliens to shape our political landscape and act as though they have the legitimate right to make demands on how we actual citizens govern our country. The illegal aliens are aided and abetted by powerful interest groups whose allegiance isn’t to the Country but rather to their race.

      Nothing is going to change. We’re on a downward trajectory as regards individual liberty and personal autonomy. Local, State, and Federal government will continue to dictate how one can live their private life to an ever more onerous degree. Generations of children have been subjected to intensive indoctrination at school and because of what passes for “culture” these days. These are the voters of the future. They admire Socialism and “Social Justice”.

      Anyone calling for another American Revolution is whistling in the wind. That ship has sailed. Our forefathers were organized (militias, Committees of Correspondence, etc.) in a way that would be impossible to achieve today, not to mention they were able to maintain a certain level of secrecy that is certainly impossible today.

      The United States today bears little resemblance to the Country the Founders thought they were establishing.

      1. avatar GunnyGene says:

        Very well stated and absolutely correct. The only question remaining is; how long will this creaky edifice remain standing, and what come after it falls?

    2. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

      Interesting perspective about Democratic Death Spiral, even if it is Australian. I seem some solid ideas here. He may be onto something about the future of politics.

      (Beware auto play video)

      https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/why-young-voters-are-turning-their-backs-on-democracy/news-story/2c565d2cf02ff5a440402ddc9e4939ff

    3. avatar KRP says:

      I agree and so unlike the original Revolution where the colonists were pushed prodded a goaded into a fight resulting in decades of escalation before Lexington and Concord that we just get this started NOW! We know who the leaders are for all things Progressive and anti-Constitution and Anti Liberty so why not start there before they can get more organized than having the Main Stream Media on their side. Antifa is itching to fight and pokes the bear every chance they get. Time for a reality check for them as these freaking elites who blatantly think themselves better smarter and more entitled than those of us in fly over country or who work with our hands, love our guns and cling to our Bibles. The 800lb. gorilla in the room is that we are already at war but no one wants to admit it. I intend to be on the winning side where the Bill of Rights is regarded as the Law of the Land along with the Constitution and it is to be strictly construed!!

  3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    Yeah, the potential for abuse will be *ripe* by Leftists.

    This might encourage more dealers at gun shows who deal in cash to step up their operations…

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      When you write “dealers,” do you mean Federal Firearms Licensees? They still need to keep records of sales, which I presume could be inspected in a state sales tax audit.

      No reputable FFL that I know of would take the risk of not collecting sales tax when required to do so, even in a cash transaction.

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

        No, not FFLs.

        As the article mentioned, everything else *besides* the serialized parts can be sold online.

        So look for cash sales on AR uppers, etc…

        1. avatar SurfGW says:

          Hence the effort to ban “ghost parts” in California. There are bills (multiple) to require background checks and serial numbers for magazines and gun parts because they are precursors.

        2. avatar BLAMMO says:

          … because they are precursors.

          … “gateway” parts.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Stupid question coming. Let’s say I own and run a business in TX which manufactures widgets and ships them all over the world. If I have no physical presence in China, or New York, then how, exactly, are either of them going to “require” me to do jack shit? Never mind letting them rummage thru my sales records, why the hell would I collect their taxes for them in the first place? Are they going to send me a nasty letter?

      1. avatar Jon in CO says:

        I’m not an account or tax professional, but I’m reading this as the state of Texas could go through your tax records to see who bought what and when. Maybe I’m dumb and misunderstanding (good chance of that).

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        {Out-of-state sales tax collection}

        “why the hell would I collect their taxes for them in the first place?”

        That’s already happening now. I’ve seen notifications on some on-line ordering forms that certain states must remit, ect.

        “Are they going to send me a nasty letter?”

        Just how far do you think a bankrupt state like Illinois (or any other Leftist-run state) will go to collect what they think they are owed? SCOTUS just gave them a license to loot.

        The potential for abuse here is *frightening*, and I just know some states are licking their Leftist lips right now at the very thought of what they can pillage…

  4. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    We need to be rid of Kennedy and Ginsburg!

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      Send them your “thoughts and prayers” for an early demise…

      1. avatar Ing says:

        I’m pretty sure Ginsburg has been dead for the last 10 years. She just doesn’t know it.

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Surprise surprise. Kennedy fucks every one again. However, I’m now certainly happy SCOTUS has refused to hear any more gun bills lately. That POS would probably rule an AWB is constitutional.

  5. avatar Wild says:

    So then brick and mortar business should be required to collect taxes for home states of out of state buyers.

    1. avatar Lightfoot says:

      Yes, that’s exactly what this could mean!

    2. avatar Taxed up says:

      Yup, however that would be a “level playing field” /S/

      I sell online and already spend a half day just reporting a few dollars of sales tax (or even time spent to report NO sales) to Washington State, which taxes based on destination each tax period. I can’t wait to have to spend my entire time sending in tax forms to states I don’t even make sales too.

      So glad Gore Such is on the Court now /S/

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

        “So glad Gore Such is on the Court now /S/”

        Oh, *please*.

        We were 68,000 or so votes away from having Hillary pick Scalia’s replacement.

        You’d seriously rather have Kagen 2 or ‘Wise Latina’ Sotamayor 2 on the bench for 30 years?

        1. avatar FedUp says:

          We do need to point out that those two ladies stood up for the Constitution while Thomas and Goresuch did not, this time anyway.

      2. avatar Charlie says:

        In the distant past I sold homemade products at craft fairs. I tried to start selling online, but my home state at the time (Oklahoma) based sales taxes strictly by destination. Adamantly *not* by zip code. Not only that, but the law and the regulations disagreed on whether it was allowable to bundle the tax into the price for easier real-time calculation. With hundreds of taxing jurisdictions within that one state alone, changing tax rates frequently, selling online was not technologically feasible. Maintaining my own in-house tax database would’ve become a new unpaid part time new job for me. From that moment of realization onward, all sales were in-person only, and my business became nothing more than a mildly profitable hobby.

        Adding Texas to the mix was simply impossible. Their system was even worse. Having sold some product in person once at a fair in Texas meant having to report zero sales every month until I finally got out of the business entirely a few years later. When I failed to report those zeroes for a few months, the Texas tax authorities wrote nasty letters and hired sleazy debt collectors to call me. Threatening to charge $10,000 in back taxes on zero sales. Oh hell no.

        If all 50 states and the territories start demanding sales tax collection by online retailers, it’ll be a nightmare like that for every online seller and for every state that has sales taxes. Here are the options I see: 1. refuse to sell to customers who want to ship to certain states whose regulations are unacceptable. 2. push for one-state-one-rate for mail order sales to each state. 3. outsource tax rate calculations. 4. outsource all online sales, period.

        This will be very good for outsource partners who can offer automatic tax calculation, reporting, and remittance. It will be very bad for small businesses.

    3. avatar warhorse says:

      http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20090826/NEWS/308269880

      massachusetts already tried that. and lost. in their own court.

  6. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Might swing some sales to a local shop or same state shop, at the cost of generally less sales. Currently if I am looking on gun broker I would typically avoid buying something from my state if I can beat the price out of state. And online vs locally if I bought a $1500 gun, the $20 to transfer (and even shipping) is cheaper than tax of $105.

    Increased prices by taxation will mean less sales and tighter margins, so even though states will get more sales tax revenue, a lot of those online companies will lose sales so less revenue in corporate taxes. Not necessarily a win for anyone, more of a redistribution and change of plans as businesses will have to rethink their business models.

    1. avatar TruthTellers says:

      That fact alone of online gun stores now having to charge sales tax is going to put them out of business. Say I buy a $500 gun online, now I’m going to pay for the transfer and the sales tax, so the total price goes up to $550 or more. I see the same gun in a local shop for $525 and I don’t have to wait a few days for it to come in? Yeah, I’ll buy it in the store.

      Online gun stores will be gone in a few years and local gun stores will be mysteriously raising prices on guns because there’ll be no competition.

      On the flip though, with internet sales being taxed, it means that local gun shops will get more business and it’s something I’ve thought about doing: opening my own gun store. What kept me from doing it is the having to get an FFL and the fact that online gun sales were impossible to compete with because of lower prices. Now… now that’s not going to be an issue.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        It depends on your local laws. California charges $25 for DROS (i.e. the background check fee). The dealer/FFL charges, in my area and others are probably higher, $75 to do the paperwork on an internet sale. (Typically, they will charge nothing to $25 if you buy the gun from them.) There are no private sales allowed. Plus there is the shipping charge of $25 to $35. And the local FFL collects state and local sales tax, which for me is 7.5%. So the sale price on line has to be at least $105 less than the cost of a local sale (assuming of course that the gun is even available locally) just to break even with a local purchase.

        Then of course there is the roster that limits the handguns that can be purchased. Personally, I use a kitchen table FFL to do transfers, and that cuts the fee to $50. But it still has to be a really good deal before buying on line makes any sense. The only exception is for black powder firearms that ship to my door.

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          Mark – What do you mean that “no private sales are allowed” ? You can’t buy a gun from your neighbor in Ca?

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      This is going to be a much needed lifeline to brick and mortar sales. Personally, I don’t like paying taxes any more than anybody else, but internet sales are driving a lot of brick and mortars out of business due in large part to the tax discrepency. I’d just as soon walk into a local shop and pay cash for anything firearms related anyway, but it’s hard passing up the $100+ I save by waiting a couple days for shipping.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Lenin said the the last Capitalists will compete to sell the rope that will hang them. The corollary to this is that people will go online to buy things from people who want to take away their freedom just to safe a few bucks.

        Anybody who love freedom should not be buying from Amazon unless it is the only source for a product.

        Freedom isn’t free. It cost a buck thirty nine.

      2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Locals already have the bulk of the advantages. Immediate delivery. Ability to touch before you buy. No shipping charges. The big disadvantage, collecting sales taxes, isn’t even a practical financial disadvantage until your order reaches well into the hundreds of dollars. If the locals can’t make a dollar and a nickel with those built on advantages, then they have a bigger problem than being tax-disadvantaged.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Local businesses only need one building, but they have to buy in low volumes and pay more. Large businesses have the advantage of buying in bulk but need hundreds of buildings across the country. Both require a lot more manpower than an on line retailer. Either way it’s extremely difficult just to match prices without the sales tax.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    Actually not. All the dealers would have to do is report sales, not necessarily what they are for. I have enough respect for the retailers’ intelligence that they will simply exclude content data and just give dollar values.
    Furthermore, unless States have reciprocity there is no way to enforce an audit on an out-of-State retailer since physical jurisdiction stops at State lines.

    I am in favor of taxing internet sales to protect brick and mortar business. Physical space is social space. Without it, humanity will be isolated from social interaction. An atomized population living in a virtual world can more easily be subjected to social control by governments. We are busily cooperating in the creation of a dystopia built around virtual reality. This is what the government, in cooperation with Silicon Valley oligarchs, see as the future of a government controlled society.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Product data may be necessary if certain products are taxed at differing rates. Customer information should never be required or provided.

    2. avatar 10x25mm says:

      Have you ever enjoyed the pleasure of a tax audit? You will be surprised by the intrusive demands for data. Just these audits can be used to hobble accessory and ammunition retailers.

      Customer data is not privileged, not that this really means anything these days.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        All the retailer has to report is how much not to whom. Again, I believe firearms retailers are smart enough to omit customer information

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          tdiinva,

          If only it were that simple.

          Consider an online retailer which makes firearms, ammunition, and/or accessories and reports/pays sales tax to a jurisdiction which bans some of those products, requires registration of some of those products, or similar. That jurisdiction could use that online retailer’s report as evidence that they are supplying “contraband” and then get a court to issue a subpoena to divulge the details of those transactions.

          And before you poo-poo this concept, realize that our courts have an amazing knack for justifying pretty much anything that, “serves a compelling government interest”.

          I don’t see how this ends well.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          Online retailers already refuse to ship items to States that ban them. There is nothing new here.

        3. avatar 10x25mm says:

          Paying sales tax is the legal responsibility of the buyer; the seller only has collection responsibility. Both are subject to audit, but the seller is the easier target for revenue officers. The seller audit is always the first effort because it is an easy way to establish noncompliance by buyers.

          Any audit of interstate sales tax proceeds remitted by a seller requires the seller to identify the recipient of every item, the recipient’s precise location, and the items. Sales taxes are mandated by multiple levels of government in many locales (state, county, city), at different rates, on different items. Revenue officers collect this information from sellers so they can make noncompliance cases against buyers.

          Now they will be able to use this information to identify buyers purchasing entirely legal accessories and ammunition uniquely suited to locally prohibited firearms.

        4. avatar tdiinva says:

          I know of no retailer who will ship you something that is illegal in your jurisdiction. So if someone from California trys to buy an accessory for an illegsl item the retailer already turn down the order.

  8. avatar CarlosT says:

    Retailers can take steps to protect consumer privacy. A compliance audit does not require any personally identiable information, so they can compile data by ZIP code and by product code, if necessary. So California will know there were a certain amount of Magpul accessories purchased in 90210, but not by whom. That information will allow them to confirm that Midway is remitting the proper amount of taxes, which is all they need to know.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Unfortunately, tax jurisdictions do not line up neatly with ZIP code assignments.

      I live in WA. In addition to the state sales tax, there are also a lot of cities that impose their own sales tax. Tracking all of that must be a huge hassle, I would be surprised if it was worth it to a lot of the smaller businesses.

      Coming up with an efficient way to track and apply the taxes to online sales might be a business opportunity for someone, there are going to be plenty of people looking for such a service very soon now.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Yeah, I was over simplifying by a large margin, I’ll definitely cop to that. The overall point stands, however, that customer information is not relevant to tax compliance. Jurisdictions can tax products at various rates, and therefore you may need to supply that sort of information, but identifiable information will never be a legitimate request.

        Interesting point about that business opportunity. Hmm…

        1. avatar DonS says:

          Jurisdictions can tax products at various rates, and therefore you may need to supply that sort of information, but identifiable information will never be a legitimate request.

          The problem (as far as identifying information) is that in order to determine what tax authorities might apply, you need to go down to street address. That’s certainly identifying info.

          I live in unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado. There are 3 tax rates that apply to my address: 2.9% state sales tax, 1.0% county sales tax, and 0.1% “Scientific and Cultural Facilities District” tax, for a total of 4.0%.

          Go 1/2 mile or so north, and there’s also the 0.1% “Regional Transportation District” tax, bringing the total up to 4.1%.

          The RTD boundaries don’t follow city/town boundaries, ZIP Code boundaries, or even roads. Near me, at least, they appear to follow longstanding section or township lines. They actually bisect some peoples’ property, so that such people really own two “half-sized” lots, one within the RTD and one outside it.

          In order to determine if someone is subject to the 0.1% RTD tax, you need their street address. Next-door neighbors’ tax rates are different. Same county, same city/town (or lack thereof), same ZIP Code, same road. You need the digits.

        2. avatar DonS says:

          … unless you’re suggesting that an online retailer could avoid reporting each transaction as I described, and instead report sales to each state in a format like:
          * total $$$ of product sold in the state
          * total $$$ sold in each county
          * total $$$ sold in each city, town, etc.
          * total $$$ sold in each special tax district (e.g. my RTD, SCFD, etc.)

          Listing tax rates and tax collected for each of the above.

          With a separate report for each product (or product type), since different products are taxed differently.

        3. avatar Mad Max says:

          Amazon already does this and has it figured out (city, state, county, local, special district, etc.). It will be a new business service for Amazon to sell.

        4. avatar CarlosT says:

          Don, that format is exactly the kind of thing I mean. There shouldn’t be any reason for any retailer to report disaggregated data. Transaction data is their business, the taxing authorities just need to know totals.

  9. avatar SurfGW says:

    This is why California already banned mail order/internet ammo sales and is trying to do the same with parts. Anyone buying from on-line retailer of gun parts will raise an eyebrow when the tax is reported to California and may get a knock on the door if they order something for an assault weapon of handgun.

  10. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    “That’s bad for online retailers (who will eventually have to track, collect, report and remit sales taxes for 50 states)” – 45 states, because 5 don’t have any state sales tax. Of those 5, AK, MT, and NH have pretty lax gun laws as well.

    “Live free or die. . . .”

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Plus thousands of local, county,sales tax combinations. Mind number # of combinations that will put smaller mail/internet retailers out of business.

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Government (which includes the U.S. Supreme Court) — always embracing all taxes with enthusiasm.

  12. avatar Joe R. says:

    Just another reason to bulldoze blue areas.

    Thankfully, we’re updated on exactly where, every 2-4 years.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/11/report-donald-trump-to-hang-portrait-of-electoral-college-landslide-in-white-house/

  13. avatar mark s says:

    Title should have been worded ‘ Trouble for gun BUYERS , not owners .

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This will also create a HUGE expense for the retailers. After paying for an accounting system that tracks the unique sales tax liability for every transaction for every single state, someone will have to compile, file, and send 50 unique reports and payments quite possibly EVERY QUARTER IF NOT EVERY MONTH. If it takes that bookkeeper an average of two hours to compile, file, and send each of those 50 reports and payments, that means that bookkeeper will be exerting 100 hours EVERY QUARTER or possibly even EVERY MONTH. In other words every retailer will probably have to hire a full-time bookkeeper just to process the sales tax of ALL 50 STATES.

    I can only imagine that hiring a full-time bookkeeper for that task will cost at least $60,000 per year (if not considerably more) including office space, computer/software/office supplies, and benefits. Thus, a retailer who conducts something like 240 transactions per day would have to increase their price per transaction by $1 to cover that expense. Retailers who conduct fewer transactions would of course have to charge more on each transaction to cover that expense.

    This sounds to me like a ruling that is simply designed to eliminate small players from the field and prevent them from challenging large businesses.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Or some web service (typically prog) which will do all the work (for a fee). WHEN you turn all your business activity records over to them. BIG personal privacy/data security issues.

    2. avatar Brian in WI says:

      I would guess that just about all POS systems have support for this fairly easily. Just in WI there are already local tax differences, not just across the board but also for different product categories(Food and beverage, rental cars etc). Some counties are 5%, some 5.1% others 5.6%.

      I imagine that these reports are spit out monthly in an automated process from the system. These reports are probably run off hours after all transactions are finalized for that month. I doubt there would be a bookkeeper manually compiling these reports unless it is a very small company.

      1. avatar Taxed up says:

        Not yet for small time businesses. Been several years in WA state with over 370 different tax areas and no help from the state or obvious complete solutions from private enterprise.

  15. avatar cg says:

    Please understand that sales taxes are not merely state but local (city, county) also. So your tax forms not only must reflect the state portion of the sales tax, but also the local portion. For instance here in Washington, the state sales tax is 6.5%, the local taxes add another 3% or so depending on the jurisdiction. The sellers of tax tables for all zip codes in the US are going to make a mint. Exactly how this might effect Ebay sellers is fascinating. And as usual, big companies like Amazon will make it work, while the small guy gets the shit hammered out of him (just think of 40 plus tax returns plus having to meticulously peruse each zipcode you sold to to figure out the local tax) . But big government loves big business, so what the heck?

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Congress is going to have to weigh in with some regulation establishing simplicity and consistence by applying the interstate commerce clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). This would be vastly most appropriate than any such action by the Feds under the section in a long long time.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        I’d suggest a uniform 5% with ALL of it going to Fed deficit reduction. The annual debt ceiling declining by the amount collected during the previous year.

        Firearms related sales being exempt under the 2nd (infringed) and other statutes preventing tracking/lists.

        1. avatar Charlie says:

          See earlier comment for my story… The idea I came up with several years ago was to figure out the average sales tax rate for all products in each state. (No product exceptions, not even for food, unless it was a uniformly standardized exceptions list.) For each transaction selling to that state charge that one average rate. Have one central tax authority remit the appropriate money to each state automatically. Then, at the state level, have it sent to every taxing authority on a per-capita share basis.

          It would work and would be easy to implement. Unfortunately, it would also get the federal government involved in each transaction. Which is bad too. And there would be a temptation to just charge 10% for every sale. Split it 75% state 25% federal. Actually that doesn’t sound so bad.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        Bingo. The only sensible solution is a flat federal tax on all internet sales. The feds would be charged with remitting those collected taxes to the states to which the product was delivered. This has been debated in Congress but no action taken. since Amazon and E-Bay have a proverbial “seat at the table,” I suspect that debate will re-emerge very soon.

        1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          “The feds would be charged with remitting those collected taxes to the states to which the product was delivered.”

          That will invariable lead to the states that have the highest tax rates screaming bloody murder they are getting screwed, and the citizens in the lower-taxed states complaining they are getting screwed that they will be paying more taxes than before.

          That sounds suspiciously like a recipe for a good old-fashioned ‘tax revolt’… 😉

    2. avatar Taxed up says:

      It isn’t even as simple as Zip Codes. Washington State doesn’t tax by zip code. You have to contact the state with each address to know what the tax rate is. And each tax area could have a rate change every tax period- three months.

  16. avatar dph says:

    Funny thing, in Washington state when you buy a gun online you have to pay the sales tax and transfer fee when you pick up your gun. So in some states this changes nothing. Also anything purchased in Washington from the Large River in South America is taxed whether the seller is actually in state or not. So many of my accessory purchases are now made on EBay.

  17. avatar Supreme Court says:

    Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented from the court’s ruling.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      All four of which surprised me.
      Thomas and Alito on the majority surprised me a little. But Thomas has always been a friend to governments and law enforcement. Goresuch I haven’t really formed any expectations for yet. Ginsberg I always have low expectations for, so her vote is certainly no surprise.

  18. avatar GS650G says:

    Or you could live in a sales tax free state like I do.

  19. avatar RA-15 says:

    In N.Y. I can’t even purchase a ruger bx25 mag on line now that’s pretty f…ed up !! Not that I can get said mags anyplace. N.Y laws have got to be the most ludicrous in the country. Time to move !!

  20. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Would our very same United States Supreme Court uphold a sales tax on Free Speech?!?!?

    Imagine if, every time you publish something, you have to pay a one cent tax on every 100 words. Aside from the entire sales tax debacle, how can taxes on a U.S. Constitutionally guaranteed right stand?

  21. avatar FedUp says:

    Results based ruling. The majority believe that it would be good for merchants to collect taxes, therefore it doesn’t matter if it’s legal to force them to do it, the good for government outweighs the legality.

    And more than one retired federal judge has openly admitted that he made illegal rulings like this for decades before retirement. And if we execute those bastards, it would just teach the rest of them to go to their graves without spilling the beans about what they’re doing.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Why wait until a corrupt judge retires?

  22. avatar John says:

    Or you could live in Oregon and have no sales tax. You could all move here and help us create a gun utopia. :o)

    1. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

      Do you have room for my RV? It’s only a 25ft fifth wheel.

  23. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah my 1st thought is Illinois gun owner’s are going to be particularly effed up. My SECOND thought was this bs was going to wreck my wife’s Etsy business( who just raised commissions). But since we are longtime antique dealers I already know of a multitude of ways to…”obey the law comrade”😄😩😏

  24. avatar Ken says:

    Also consider that while many, many companies will annouce they will be in compliance with the law and collect the tax, what makes one think they will voluntarily send it to the states? Collecting it (at up to 10%) will be one thing. How can we verify that it actually gets sent to the state and how would one confirm? Sounds like an automatic price increase all around.

  25. avatar MarkPA says:

    Time for gun-owners to vote their interests. Will paying taxes on internet purchases be the thing that motivates us? Immigration? Employment of illegal immigrants? Vote fraud? None of the above? Not even ALL of the above collectively?

    One thing that is clear, voters in right-to-carry states are NOT flexing their muscles.

    There are 11 Democrat and 2 Independent Senators from 2 Con-Carry States and 11 Shall-Issue States. That’s 13 Senate votes that COULD be pro-gun; but, they aren’t.

    The Republicans have 1/2 the Senate seats; but among these, there are plenty of RINOs. All these Republicans are from Con-Carry or Shall-Issue States.

    If gun-owners in these States stood-up for gun rights in their Senate races they could stiffen the backs of their RINOs and flip their Democrats to Republicans. And, thereupon, we would have (or gradually approach) the magic 60 votes in the Senate necessary to defeat a filibuster.

    That means, we could stop any gun-control legislation and pass any gun-rights legislation. The power is in the hands of gun-owners if only they would recognize that they have to vote and make their sentiments on guns crystal-clear to their Senators.

    The problem for gun-owners nationally is complacency. Bloomberg can buy a lot of loyalty; but he can’t buy gun-owners’ votes. If we don’t vote our interests then it’s our war to loose.

  26. avatar Taxed up says:

    So in Nevada you have to put down a deposit before collecting sales tax. At least $100 in my experiance. Do other states do this? Will a small time online retailer be forced to send out hundreds of dollars to state before they can do business there? Perhaps the states can take this one step further and require business licenses for anyone shipping to their state?

  27. avatar Brethren Arms says:

    So this is a total load of bullshit and here is why.
    This does not “protect” brick and mortar shops. I don’t know of any local gun shop that doesn’t sell online as well.
    It will affect them. This protecting is for the 70 year old “gunsmith” that has refused to be a part of the interweb thing.
    Now, while a few embrace the protection, you will be enveloped by the ever comforting arms of not only local, county and state tax govt agencies, this opens every business in America to those tax agencies of every other state, friendly and hostile to the firearm industry.
    And, let’s just look at what this tells Govt as a whole. The estimated loss of $1b of tax revenue is great…..let’s just give the drunk a tanker filled with booze.
    The Govt can’t even control spending, so let’s just joyfully skip down the road while we hand over $1b freaking dollars to them to waste on top of what they already steal from us.
    This will only increase prices as a whole to people because the business will have to spend money on 50 different State interpretations and policies on what to do and how to do it.

    This doesn’t protect anyone except Govt. If you think it protects the physical gun shop you are an idiot.

  28. avatar anonymoose says:

    Byebye online retail!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Byebye online retail!”

      No, it will exist ‘The Day After’.

      In what form is yet to be determined…

  29. avatar CC says:

    Look I am glad internet sales of not only firearms and firearms accessories exists, but that internet sales of everything exist. In the case of firearms related it certainly does provide a lot of cost savings in general.

    BUT my family had a small retail store decades ago (not firearms related) and who on earth cannot look at this fairly, and not conclude, the sales tax differential is an unfair burden and artificial competitive disadvantage on bricks and mortar retail?

    I tis not the consumer’s, the voter’s, the polity’s, the legislatures” or the courts responsibility to compensate for bricks and mortar retail for the general disruptions and changes or the economies of scale advantages of internet sellers. But unfair differentials in taxes are a different thing.

    No brricks and mortar retail store is deciding your sales tax. if you are upset about sales tax, direct your ire at your state or local legislators. Do consider in your comments the hundreds of thousands of local based family retail stores that have been unfairly screwed by being forced to charge tax when other competitors are not.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Here is a novel idea on how to fix the uneven/unfair tax problem: rather forcing all sellers to collect sales tax and to collect it at the same rate, simply eliminate all sales taxes all together!

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

        “…simply eliminate all sales taxes all together!”

        Now, on first blush, the ‘small government’ side of me *really* likes that idea, but how do you propose local governments fund petty, frivolous things like fire departments when their funding collapses?

        1. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

          Well Patreon is a thing now……

        2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          “Well Patreon is a thing now……”

          A sort-of form of that exists now, in rural areas.

          Annual ‘fire taxes’ that fund the local volunteer fire companies.

          Payment is not mandatory, but if they respond to fire at your location, saving life is all they will do. Your structure they will let burn, and not spread to your next-door neighbor, who paid his annual $125 (or whatever) fee…

        3. avatar Brethren Arms says:

          Property tax funds most of those things. Sales tax does not.
          So in theory, the middle and upper class home owners will carry the burden yet again of an out of control Govt looking to put its hand deeper into the pockets of the citizen.

          I find it mind boggling that there are some here praising not only more money into the Govt, the same Govt that wastes trillions of dollars every year, but has this “My family had a store 20 year ago” mentality and this is now the retribution sought for the business model that took over.
          Are there any families that endured hardships when the in home refrigerator came out and they family had to stop selling blocks off ice in the neighborhood?

    2. avatar ‘liljoe says:

      THAT unfairly screwed is not true, if your business is in a state and you sell in state you collect and pay sales tax… same as the store. what this does is make it bothersome for internet sales to go across state lines. If your store is more expensive that an out of state store it’s not because of taxes, their shipping is more than your taxes and they add it to the price… it’s because you are charging too much. Like in all competition you have to beat them in service, quality or price.

      1. avatar Trevor says:

        You’re so far off the mark. Let’s just say someone’s buying a $1,000 rifle. TX sales tax where I lived is 8.25%, so a customer is going to pay 1082.50 OTD, and that’s taking into account that you match the razor thin margin of whatever online superstore the customer is quoting (hint, there’s very little margin in any firearm sale. These big sites are selling at dealer cost or just a couple dollars over). The customer could alternatively order the $1,000 rifle which I almost guarantee will have free shipping, then pay the $15-25 transfer fee. There’s just no way to compete. And that’s a moderately priced rifle, imagine trying to sell a high end rifle or night vision that runs $8k. Tax alone is hundreds of dollars.

        Then, as a store you’re going to get shafted with paying a 2-4% credit card fee for the transaction, plus sales tax. Then 30 days later you’re responsible for paying that full amount of sales tax to the state (despite the CC company already taking a chunk for themselves, so you were never paid tax). So on my example of the $1000 rifle that might cost the dealer $950, he’s going to see ~$1050 after CC fees, then have to pay the state $82.50, which leaves him with a whopping $17.52 profit.

        This change sucks for consumers but will be greatly appreciated by small business owners everywhere.

      2. avatar CC says:

        It is the lack of sales tax on directly competing business that unfair.

        Sure a small store pays more for everything. In the case of local gun shop, they probably pay more at wholesale for the same handgun to sell.

        I did NOT say anyone needs to compensate say a small brick and mortar for the fact that S&W or Ruger and accessory or supply makers/wholesalers almost certainly charges them more due to lower volume.
        I did NOT say anyone needs to compensate the brick and mortar for other major market shifts/disruptions. changes either
        I did NOT say anyone needs to compensate brick and morter for the fact that people come in, try stuff out, take advantage of the fact the B&M has to have stuff in inventory, and then the customer goes and buys it online from a company that saves money by having little in actual inventory.
        I did NOT say large internet sellers (eg Borwnells, Buds) advantage in locating in lower employment cost, lower property tax, and lower other cost locations needs to be compensated for.

        I said the lack of same sales tax on direct competitors — selling the same thing to the same customers — is what is patently unfair. The sales tax on local business, and not on other sellers selling to the same customers, is patently and obviously a serious and ARTIFICIAL disadvantage.

        And why do people keep mixing in rates. do you think your local gun store, shoe store, hardware store is advocating high sales tax rates in your state ? if anything, making all people selling to voters of a state collect sales tax will add pressure to curtail taxes and spending instead of unfairly fking over one segment.

  30. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    The solution to this is to tag an amendment onto National Reciprocity and get both passed. Make my CCP good in all 50 states and a universal flat tax that’s the same for every state.

  31. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Well duh, that’s why I always buy ammo from gun shops, gunz from private sellers, and leaky John boats.

  32. avatar Hannibal says:

    Why not force physical stores to demand ID from every customer just in case someone from out of state is trying to get something cheaper?

    How about when cars pull up to gas stations with out-of-state plates?

  33. avatar Trevor says:

    Maybe local gun shops can actually earn a living now without these shitty online superstores undercutting the little man.

  34. avatar Batterycap says:

    People are focused on the sales tax now to be paid when ordering online. I submit the sales tax is a non-issue.

    The issue is that there are 274 separate sales tax jurisdictions in the US. The compliance cost of tracking every customer to whom you have made a sale and determining which of those 274 sales tax authorities to which to report is simply not economically feasible for most any retailer except Amazon.

    No, its not the little guy that is the only party that can’t do this. The little guy selling on Etsy is automatically kicked to the internet curb. Larger retailers will abandon offering their goods online.

    I just bought a set of struts for a Honda from a Honda dealer in NC. This dealer currently doesn’t have to be concerned with filing a sales tax return in GA. Soon, they will have to be concerned. Rather than deal with potentially 274 tax districts, they will just quit selling online.

    You might respond that the software will handle it. Presume it does, and then assume a cost to use this software. It will be expensive. Unless you are a huge seller (Amazon) you just won’t do it.

    Yes, I am a tax guy, and compliance costs are already through the roof. Sales tax has usually been a tag along filing. No more. The day is here when you can make a career out of sales tax compliance alone.

    By the way, fair or unfair, the internet changed nothing when it came to ordering remotely and having something delivered. It’s still the same process as when you used to tear out the order sheet from the Sears catalog, fill it out, and mail it. No difference.

    Using a keyboard to fill out the order isn’t a difference.

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