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Firearms Industry Hails Passage of Excise Tax Improvement Legislation in U.S. House
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry -- hailed today's passage of the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010 (H.R. 5552).
The bi-partisan legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) had 54 original co-sponsors and sailed through the House by a vote of 412-6. This legislation corrects a longstanding inequity in the Internal Revenue Code by permitting firearm and ammunition manufacturers to pay the federal excise tax payment on a quarterly basis, like other industries that support conservation through a federal excise tax. Currently, manufacturers pay this tax on a bi-weekly schedule, forcing many manufacturers to borrow money to ensure on-time payment. Industry members spend thousands of man-hours administering the necessary paperwork to successfully complete the bi-weekly tax payments -- monies that are due to the federal government long before manufacturers are paid by their customers.
HR 5552 revised an earlier bill (HR 510) to ensure that the legislation would not add to the budget deficit. The change to a provision of the tax code will not affect conservation funding and the legislation does not lower the amount of conservation dollars collected by the tax.
"This bill will strengthen wildlife conservation funding in America by helping manufacturers to grow their businesses," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "We are thankful for the tremendous support and leadership of Representatives Ron Kind, sponsor of this bill, and Paul Ryan (R-WI), co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, for championing this commonsense legislation."
The firearm and ammunition excise tax is the major revenue source for funding the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund (also known as the Pittman Robertson Trust Fund). Last year, firearm and ammunition manufacturers contributed approximately $450 million dollars to wildlife conservation through excise tax payments.
Passage of HR 5552 would not have been possible without the hard work of many organizations including a broad coalition of more than 35 conservation groups who are members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP). This coalition includes the National Rifle Association (NRA), Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International (SCI) and the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF), which made passage of this bill a priority.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) also support this legislation. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service -- Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) that collects the excise tax supports the legislation as it would reduce its work load thereby saving taxpayers money. In fact, there is no organized opposition to this pro-conservation, pro-growth, bi-partisan legislation.
"With passage of excise tax improvement in the House, it is our hope that the Senate, behind the strong leadership of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, will act fast to bring companion legislation up for a vote," continued Keane.
NSSF is encouraging all sportsmen, hunters and gun-owners to contact their senators and urge them to support excise tax improvement legislation in the Senate (S. 632).