Lawmaker drafts legislation removing the state tax on firearms
State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, today introduced legislation that would forbid the state from taxing the Second Amendment right of Michiganders.
Under LaFave’s plan, the state would be prohibited from issuing the current sales and use tax rate of 6 percent on all purchased firearms and ammunition.
LaFave said that no other rights outlined in both the U.S. and state constitutions are subject to taxation and that doing so raises serious constitutionality questions.
“The state doesn’t tax our right to free speech. It doesn’t tax our right to vote. It doesn’t tax our right to seek counsel in trial,” LaFave said. “So why on earth is the state allowed to make a direct commission off our right to bear arms?
“As a general rule of thumb, if you can tax it, it’s not a legal right,” LaFave said. “The current sales and use tax on Michiganders’ right to bear arms is the state government failing to recognize it as a legal right.”
LaFave said the reason the Second Amendment is the only legal right accompanied by a tax is because of political controversy surrounding firearms throughout the country. LaFave also highlighted the failed 2015 firearm and ammunition tax proposal that was adopted by the city of Seattle to address rising gun violence.
“Tax proposals should not be political statements,” LaFave said. “Just like in Seattle, Michigan’s sales and use tax on firearms and ammunition, despite it being a legal right, is nothing but a political statement and government overreach. This should have never been acceptable in the first place, and I look forward to shepherding this bill through the Legislature and protecting Michiganders’ rights from taxation.”
LaFave said Michigan’s sales and use tax on firearms and ammunition is especially burdensome for lower-income citizens, potentially hampering their ability to exercise their Second Amendment right.
House Bills 4863 and 4864 now move to the House Tax Policy Committee for further consideration.