Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Support Firearms Manufacturers Fairness

Support Firearms Manufacturers Fairness

Excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, fishing tackle, and archery equipment generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for fish and wildlife restoration, habitat conservation, and hunter and boater education. Yet, due to a quirk in the tax code, firearms and ammunition manufacturers pay these taxes every two weeks while makers of fishing rods and bows and arrows pay quarterly. This process forces many firearms companies to borrow money to make tax payments and creates administrative burdens.

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that would simply put all of these industries on the same quarterly schedule. America’s firearms makers, hunting and angling groups, including the League, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service support this commonsense approach to similar industries.

Please urge your U.S. Representative and Senators to support tax fairness for the firearms industry.
CLICK HERE to take action now!

Learn more about the League!

Click this link to take action on League issues.
If you have any questions about this action alert or other IWLA programs, please contact:

The Izaak Walton League of America
707 Conservation Lane
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 548-0150


  1. Dear Mr. Nuse:

    Thank you for contacting me about the Firearms Fairness and Affordability Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

    The Firearms Fairness Act was introduced by Senator Max Baucus of Montana on March 18, 2009. As you mentioned in your letter, this bill would simply change the timing of the payment of excise taxes on firearms and ammunition from bi-weekly to quarterly, like other outdoor equipment excise taxes. These taxes are put in the so called Pittman-Robertson Trust Fund, established in 1937 to help fund conservation measures for our country's natural beauty. During his introductory statement, Senator Baucus acknowledged that this change in the law would result in a $4 million shortfall over the next ten years. However, he has worked with the firearms industry to work out a five year payment schedule that would ease the loss by about $750,000 total.

    I believe that in a time of tightening budgets, we must be very cautious about chipping away at funding for important, self-sufficient programs that preserve our nation's natural beauty while employing thousands of Americans. In 1937, businesses that focus on helping Americans enjoy the splendor of the outdoors worked with lawmakers to ensure that our nation's natural wealth is not squandered. These businesses, including the firearms industry, willingly took on an excise tax to maintain the wilderness for each subsequent generation of Americans, and this is truly commendable. Having grown up enjoying the time I spent in the Green Mountains as a child, I appreciate what the outdoors have to offer, and you can be sure that I will keep your thoughts in mind as I carefully weigh this bill if it comes before the Senate.

    Thank you again for contacting me on this issue. Please keep in touch.

    Patrick Leahy
    United States Senator


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