Last week, the NRA-backed “Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010” (H.R. 5552) was signed into law.
H.R. 5552 -- originally introduced in January 2009 as H.R. 510 by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- passed the U.S. House in late June by an unprecedented margin of 412-6. Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Sam Farr (D-CA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Ron Paul (R-TX) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) were the only Members of Congress to vote against the common-sense measure.
The Senate version of the bill -- S. 632 -- was co-sponsored by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
By unanimous consent, the Senate passed H.R. 5552 on August 5th. It was signed into law on August 16th, and became Public Law 111-237.
The legislation will allow firearm and ammunition manufacturers to pay federal excise tax on a quarterly basis, just as other industries do. In the past, firearm and ammunition manufacturers were unfairly mandated to pay their federal excise taxes biweekly while all other manufacturers paid their taxes quarterly. Obviously, this requirement created an undue burden on the industry. In addition to being equitable, the change to a quarterly excise tax payment schedule will allow firearm and ammunition manufacturers to reinvest funds into researching and developing new products, purchasing new manufacturing machinery and creating jobs without establishing a new tax, adding to the burgeoning federal deficit, or using any bailout money.
The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that this legislation will create a net revenue increase of $4 million over 10 years. Accordingly, the measure will increase funding for wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund. 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. 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.