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June 18, 2010

Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Reform Legislation Moves Forward


The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry – applauds Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) for introducing legislation (HR 5552) revising the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010 so that it complies with statutory Pay-Go rules and does not add to the deficit.  The bi-partisan legislation has 57 original co-sponsors.  This revision would correct 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 industry’s that support conservation through a federal excise tax, instead of the current bi-weekly schedule. The revised bill would comply with Pay-Go standards and completely offset the cost of the legislation by changing the Internal Revenue Code to allow the IRS to immediately assess and collect, as a tax, the restitution debt owed by defendants in criminal tax cases. This provision will not affect conservation funding.

This bill will strengthen wildlife conservation funding in America by helping manufacturers to grow their businesses. 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.

This legislation is supported by a broad coalition of over 35 conservation groups who are members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) including Ducks Unlimited, National Rifle Association (NRA), Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Safari Club International (SCI), National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and many others. During the NSSF Congressional Fly-In, members of industry addressed the importance of excise tax reform with lawmakers.  This message was reinforced during the SCI Congressional Fly-In shortly thereafter.   

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 their work load thereby saving taxpayers money. In fact, there is no organized opposition to this pro-conservation, pro-growth, bi-partisan legislation.

NSSF continues to encourage all sportsmen, hunters and gun-owners to contact their representative and senators and urge them to support this bill.