By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Democrats in the House of representatives are expected to reintroduce legislation that would grant a federal $2,000 tax credit for turning in a gun to a local, state, or federal government authority.
The guns listed normally sell for far less than $2,000.
There are many millions of them legally possessed by individuals.
Admittedly, even if the bill were passed, it is unlikely that more than a few million people would take advantage of it, so the drain on the Treasury wold be less than 20 billion dollars. That is hardly noticeable in our runaway, trillion dollar, budget. But as a famous senator once quipped, a billion here, and a billion there, pretty soon you are talking real money.
What is truly insane about the bill is that it would not accomplish anything except to transfer money from the treasury to individuals who knew enough to take advantage of the bill’s provisions, and to enrich gun manufacturers.
Gun owners would receive tax breaks for voluntarily turning in high-powered assault rifles under new legislation proposed Monday.
The Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education of our (SAFER) Streets Act expected to be reintroduced next week by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) would provide gun owners with an incentive to turn in their firearms to local police departments.
“Assault weapons are not about hunting, or even self-defense,” DeLauro said. “There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for a battlefield.”
I read the bill(pdf). You have to be completely ignorant of economics, too lazy to read legislation that you cosponsor, or especially insane, to introduce or co-sponsor such legislation. The bill grants a flat $2,000 tax credit for one “assault weapon” as defined in the bill. You get a $1000 tax credit the first year, and another $1,000 tax credit the second year. The firearm has to be legally owned. From the bill(pdf):
the case of an individual
6 who surrenders a specified assault weapon to the
7 United States or a State or local government (or po-
8 litical subdivision thereof) as part of a Federal,
9 State, or local public safety program to reduce the
10 number of privately owned weapons, on the election
11 of the taxpayer there shall be allowed as a credit
12 against the tax imposed by this chapter an amount
13 equal to $2,000.
Many inexpensive firearms qualify. A Hi-Point carbine qualifies. You can buy lots of them for less than $250 each. From the list of qualified firearms in the bill:
6 ‘‘(viii) Hi-Point Carbine,
Any semi-auto rifle with a detachable magazine and a forward grip qualifies. A Savage .22 semi-auto can be had for about $143 retail, and a qualifying forward pistol grip added for a piece of broom handle and some duct tape, or likely as an aftermarket accessory for $11. From the list of qualified items in the bill:
13 ‘‘(D) A semiautomatic rifle that has an
14 ability to accept a detachable magazine, and
15 that has—
16 ‘‘(i) a folding or telescoping stock,
17 ‘‘(ii) a threaded barrel,
18 ‘‘(iii) a pistol grip,
19 ‘‘(iv) a forward grip, or
20 ‘‘(v) a barrel shroud.
Talk about another boon for gun manufacturers. This legislation practically begs you to buy a cheap, new, qualifying firearm (so you can prove legal possession with a receipt) and turn it in for $2,000 in tax credits.
The bill is about tax credits. It is not a deduction. It is a direct tax credit. If you owe as much as $1,000 taxes in a year, it is like free money. The bill makes even less sense than the political theater of gun “buy backs“. There have been numerous studies showing that these “buy backs” accomplish nothing except to attempt to indoctrinate people that guns are bad and should be turned in to police. The message that is actually sent is “it is good to keep some cheap guns on hand, so that if foolish politicians have a “buy back” we can make some money on it.
That is the message this bill would send, magnified a hundred fold by the power of federal taxation. Spend $50 to buy a stripped receiver to turn in, and get a net profit of $1,950 in tax credits.
A *receiver* for named rifles qualifies; you can buy a stripped lower AR receiver for $50… and it qualifies. From the bill:
1 ‘‘(J) A frame or receiver that is identical
2 to, or based substantially on the frame or re-
3 ceiver of, a firearm described in any of subpara-
4 graphs (A) through (I) or (L).
I would like to say that this bill will never pass. I would like to say that not even a majority of congressmen are this insane. But we have had similar measures pass in previous legislatures. Arizona passed a bill that gave so many tax credits to people to buy “green” vehicles that they were able to get them for free, with the State picking up the tab. The bill almost bankrupted Arizona before it was cut short.
Really stupid bills can pass, given enough media hype. In the 1950’s, the United States banned the interstate sale of switchblade knives. It was all based on media hype.
While most congressmen are not this stupid, most of the time, the introduction and co-sponsoring of this bill means that some in Congress really are this insane, ignorant, lazy, or stupid. I hate to say that a congressman from Arizona is one of the co-sponsors of this bill. The bill reaches levels of stupidity reserved for the mythical legislation that was passed to repeal the law of gravity.
Here are the co-sponsors, from thehill.com:
The co-sponsors include Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).
I have yet to see an equally ignorant bill from Republicans. I am not saying that Republicans are saints. They are not. A bill like this from Republicans would receive intense scorn from the old media. But because the old media is as ignorant about guns and economics as these representatives, and willing to ignore silliness on the left, these Democrats get a pass.
They are on the far, far, left, in safe districts, and they will not be criticized. There is no critic of the bill in the article noted above. Perhaps the “repeal the law of gravity” analogy is too harsh. It is closer to attempting to empty the ocean with a bucket, by pouring the water on the beach, all the while chanting: “See the sea level is falling!” with each passing wave.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.