Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert: Gun Club Tax Prohibition Passes the Legislature

Monday, June 15, 2015

Florida Alert: Gun Club Tax Prohibition Passes the Legislature

DATE:  June 15, 2015
TO:      USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
            USF Executive Director
            NRA Past President

On Monday, June 15, 2015, the Florida Senate and the Florida House PASSED the Tax Cut Package bill HB-33A.  The bill contains language to stop the Department of Revenue from imposing sales tax on gun club membership fees.

The provision was inserted by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar) to EXPRESSLY PROHIBIT the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) from forcing Gun Clubs to pay sales taxes on membership dues and fees and to stop DOR from activity that threatens to shut down Gun Club shooting ranges.

Special thanks go to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R), Sen. Dorothy Hukill (R), Sen. Tom Lee (R), Sen. Don Gaetz (R) and Senate President Andy Gardiner (R).

The bill now goes to Governor Rick Scott for his signature.

BACKGROUND ON DOR'S UNLAWFUL GUN CLUB TAX

In 2010 we became aware that the Department of Revenue (DOR) had started targeting gun clubs for the collection of sales tax on club membership dues as an admission tax.

The tax is a violation of the firearms preemption law (790.33) which says:

"Except as EXPRESSLY provided by the state Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition ..."  It could not be more clear.

The Florida Legislature has NEVER EXPRESSLY authorized a sales tax on Gun Club membership dues and fees.

This is an unlawful tax that is being willfully and arrogantly imposed in violation of state law.

It is being willfully imposed because in June 2010, Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp wrote the Director of DOR notifying her that the tax was unlawful.  He asked her to stop imposing it and to refund the taxes already collected.

It is being arrogantly imposed because DOR ignored the Lt. Governor's written request and did not even have the courtesy to respond to him. 

DOR has continued to force clubs to pay the tax and even demanded that clubs pay taxes retroactively, hitting them with tax bills that would force ranges to close.

In Tallahassee, a Gun Club was hit with a tax bill of $20,000. It reported to us that the club was going to have to borrow the money to pay the back taxes to keep from losing their range.

An attorney downstate told us the club he represented was forced to pay $50,000 in back taxes.

Gun clubs have been reluctant to sue because DOR has unlimited tax dollars to fight a lawsuit.

In addition, DOR is violating constitutional rights.  Taxing membership dues and fees is a violation of the First Amendment right to assemble. 

And since gun clubs hold meetings and discuss legislation impacting their Second Amendment rights, this is a tax on their right to freedom of political speech.

Further, the 7th District US Court of Appeals ruled that "the right to train at a range...[is at] the core of the Second Amendment right to possess firearms for self-defense."    Ezell v. Chicago, 651 F.3d 684 (7th Cir. 2011)

DOR has created its own tax on Gun Clubs.  For over four years, gun clubs have been trying to resolve this issue with DOR and DOR just keeps ignoring the law.  

The Legislature has now taken action to stop this abuse.  The language in this bill –  once and for all –  EXPRESSLY PROHIBITS the collection of sales tax on Gun Club membership fees.

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida Shooting Ranges Tax
TRENDING NOW
Update: Bloomberg Mayor Faces Child Endangerment and Firearm Charges

News  

Monday, August 2, 2021

Update: Bloomberg Mayor Faces Child Endangerment and Firearm Charges

Things just keep getting worse for Rochester, N.Y. mayor and member of Michael Bloomberg front group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) Lovely Warren. On July 16, the gun control proponent was charged with criminal possession of a ...

Biden’s ATF Nominee and Mass Surveillance, Erosion of Civil Liberties

News  

Monday, August 2, 2021

Biden’s ATF Nominee and Mass Surveillance, Erosion of Civil Liberties

David Chipman, the Biden administration’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is well known for his employment as a “senior policy advisor” with major gun control organizations, notably Everytown’s ...

Doctors Don’t Follow Their Own Orders

News  

Monday, August 2, 2021

Doctors Don’t Follow Their Own Orders

Readers are likely familiar with doctors’ attempts to position themselves as uniquely qualified to dictate firearms-related policy. Professional medical associations have a long history of producing recommendations they claim are “evidence-based” without any actual evidence or, worse, ...

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Comments on ATF’s New “Frame or Receiver” Rule Now Open

News  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Comments on ATF’s New “Frame or Receiver” Rule Now Open

That publication triggered the opening of the proposed rule to public comments. The comment period will remain open until August 19, 2021.

Massachusetts: Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearing Tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Massachusetts: Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearing Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold public hearings on both pro- and anti-gun bills.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

North Carolina: Guilford County Considering Firearm Discharge Restrictions

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

North Carolina: Guilford County Considering Firearm Discharge Restrictions

On August 5th, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners will consider File # 2021-294 to restrict hunting and target shooting, though it remains unclear if they even have the authority to do so. If you ...

ATF Targets Pistol Stabilizing Braces in New Rulemaking

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

ATF Targets Pistol Stabilizing Braces in New Rulemaking

On June 7th, ATF published a new notice of proposed rulemaking on its website...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.