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Newhouse Backs Legislation to Remove Unconstitutional Tax on Firearms Transfers

May 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) joined Rep. Ashley Hinson (RI-IA) and 59 Members of Congress from across the country to introduce the Repealing Illegal Freedom and Liberty Excises Act (RIFLE Act). Under current law, there is a $200 tax on the transfer and purchase of firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act. This legislation would remove the existing $200 tax on firearms sold to law-abiding gun owners. 

"Law-abiding citizens should not have to fear the federal government regulating their firearms out of existence,” said Rep. Newhouse. “This tax is unconstitutional and infringes on our Second Amendment rights. I will continue to oppose any attempts to encroach on Central Washingtonians’ right to bear arms.”

Background:

  • Under current law, there is a $200 tax on the transfer and purchase of firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act.
    • According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the $200 transfer tax was intended to “to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions” of firearms.
    • The federal government intentionally placed a financial barrier on the Second Amendment, discriminating against individuals based on their level of expendable income.
  • The RIFLE Act would remove the infringing tax on firearms governed under the National Firearms Act, including short-barreled rifles and silencers.
  • This legislation would also ensure that pistols with stabilizing braces would not be subject to the $200 transfer tax.
  • This legislation does not modify any current background check provisions, it solely removes the federally-mandated financial burden on law-abiding gun owners.  

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