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
DHS “Misinformation Governance Board” Could Seek to Sway Gun Debate

News  

Monday, May 16, 2022

DHS “Misinformation Governance Board” Could Seek to Sway Gun Debate

In late April, Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), made a bizarre announcement during a congressional hearing that DHS was forming what it called a “Mis- and Disinformation Governance Board.” The statement came ...

Follow the Science, Unless it Leads Where You Don’t Want to Go

News  

Monday, May 16, 2022

Follow the Science, Unless it Leads Where You Don’t Want to Go

Researchers in California have published the results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of so-called “gun violence restraining orders” (a.k.a. “extreme risk protection orders” or “red flag” orders). Assembly Bill 1014, was enacted in California in ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

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.

NRA-ILA Spring 2022 Litigation Newsletter

News  

Friday, May 13, 2022

NRA-ILA Spring 2022 Litigation Newsletter

NRA-ILA’s Office of Litigation Counsel has been busy fighting for our members’ rights in courtrooms across the country. ILA has filed new cases, continued the fight in many existing cases, and scored some good wins. ...

Illinois: General Assembly Passes “Ghost Gun” Ban

Monday, April 11, 2022

Illinois: General Assembly Passes “Ghost Gun” Ban

On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee held a subject matter hearing on House Bill 4383 Senate Floor Amendment 2, to ban individuals from making their own firearms for personal use, and voted to advance the measure. ...

Grassroots Spotlight: Remembering Michael Omatsu

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Grassroots Spotlight: Remembering Michael Omatsu

The term "I am the NRA" speaks truth and strength to those special NRA members that choose to be strong advocates in their communities. Michael Omatsu was a passionate NRA-ILA FrontLines Activist Leader (FAL) who went ...

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Today, Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, constitutional carry, into law. Georgia is now the 25th constitutional carry state, and the fourth to join that group in 2022. Half of the country now recognizes the right ...

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.

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

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.