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
H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms. Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of ...

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

News  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

According to reports from Capitol Hill, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on two gun control bills as early as next week. The first bill, so-called “universal” background check legislation, would criminalize ...

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

It’s widely understood that the current occupants of the White House, the Biden-Harris Administration, have positioned themselves as the most anti-gun team this country has ever seen on Pennsylvania Avenue. Leading up to the 2020 ...

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

This week, hearings were held on the nomination of Merrick Garland for U.S. attorney general, with a final vote on confirmation expected to come next week. The prospect for gun owners is that the nation’s ...

The California Model: Soft on Violent Firearm Crimes, Hard on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

The California Model: Soft on Violent Firearm Crimes, Hard on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

A frustrating aspect of the modern gun control movement is its seeming abandonment of reason. The same anti-gun politicians that attack the rights of law-abiding gun owners will advocate for more lenient treatment of those ...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Florida Alert! H.R. 127 - Federal Gun Control Proposal

Much is being said about H.R. 127 By Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) 117th Congress and we have had many folks contacting us seeking information. 

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

News  

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review of an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit challenging California’s ban on magazines containing more than ten rounds.

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

News  

Monday, February 22, 2021

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action applauds a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals today that upheld the state's preemption law and struck down a pair of local ordinances that restricted the ...

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

News  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

On Sunday, President Biden used the three-year anniversary of the criminal attack in Parkland, Florida to call “on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons ...

New Hampshire: House Passes Self-Defense Legislation

Friday, February 26, 2021

New Hampshire: House Passes Self-Defense Legislation

Yesterday, the House of Representatives held a floor vote on self-defense legislation, House Bill 197. 

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.