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NRA-Backed Excise Bill Overwhelmingly Passes U.S. House

Friday, July 2, 2010

On June 29, the NRA-backed Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act (H.R. 5552) easily passed in the House by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 412-6.

Sponsored by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), H.R. 5552 will change the excise tax payment schedule for firearm and ammunition manufacturers from biweekly to quarterly.  H.R. 5552 complies with statutory “Pay-Go” rules and does not establish a new tax or add to the federal deficit.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, established by enactment of federal legislation in 1937, authorizes the development of wildlife restoration projects across the country.  Under current law, firearm and ammunition manufacturers pay excise taxes into this fund biweekly.  All other manufacturers pay their respective excise taxes quarterly.  The frequency of excise tax payments by firearm and ammunition manufacturers is a burden on the industry.

Changing to a quarterly excise tax payment schedule will allow manufacturers to reinvest funds into researching and developing new products, purchasing new manufacturing machinery and creating jobs.  To correct this issue and also comply with “Pay-Go” standards, the cost of H.R. 5552 is completely offset.  The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that this legislation will create a net revenue increase of $4 million over ten years.  Accordingly, H.R. 5552 will increase funding for wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.

This legislation will neither raise taxes nor exempt firearm and ammunition manufacturers from paying federal excise taxes into the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.

While fourteen were absent for this vote on Tuesday, only six congressmen—John Conyers (D-Mich.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)—voted against H.R. 5552.  To see the roll call vote, please click here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll400.xml.

H.R. 5552 has 87 cosponsors.  To see if your congressman is a cosponsor, please click here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll400.xml.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 632—the Senate version of this legislation.  You can find contact information for your elected officials by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121.

S. 632 is sponsored by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), and currently has 28 cosponsors.  To see if your Senators are cosponsors, please click here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgibin/bdquery/z?d111:SN00632:@@@P|/home/LegislativeData.php. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.