DES MOINES, Iowa – On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, introduced the Repealing Illegal Freedom and Liberty Excises (RIFLE) Act, a bill that would eliminate the tax on firearm transfers. Currently, there is a $200 tax on the transfer and purchase of firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA). Hinson’s bill seeks to repeal that tax on firearms sold to law-abiding citizens.
Firearms regulated under the NFA are shotguns (modified or manufactured) with barrels that are 18 inches or shorter, modified shotguns or rifles with an overall length less than 26 inches, rifles (modified or manufactured) with barrels less than 16 inches in length, any weapon made from a rifle with an overall length of 26 inches or with barrels less than 16 inches in length, machine guns, silencers, pistols or revolvers modified to fire shotgun shells, and destructive devices (grenades, explosive devices, missiles and rockets with incendiary or explosive charges that are larger than a defined threshold, etc.).
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the $200 transfer tax was intended “to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions” of firearms placing a financial barrier making it difficult for lower-income Americans to receive the firearm.
“The federal government should not be placing financial barriers on the inalienable rights of Americans. This unconstitutional tax on certain firearm purchases is a direct violation of the Second Amendment and must be repealed. As the Biden Administration and Democrats push proposals that unfairly target law-abiding gun owners, I will continue to stand up for Iowans’ right to keep and bear arms,” Hinson, who represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, said in a released statement.
Hinson’s office confirmed with The Iowa Torch that all firearms, including machine guns and silencers, will have the $200 tax removed. The bill, however, does not modify background checks and other provisions that prohibit criminals from owning these firearms.
“It solely removes the federally-mandated financial burden on law-abiding gun owners,” Sophica Seid, Hinson’s spokeswoman, told The Iowa Torch.
The legislation would also ensure that pistols with stabilizing braces would not be subject to the $200 transfer tax. A stabilizing brace slips around the shooter’s forearm and secures to the arm allowing a person to fire the weapon more accurately with one hand. This is a popular feature with disabled shooters.
Hinson’s bill has 60 co-sponsors, including fellow Iowa Republican, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, who represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
“The burdensome tax we are seeking to eliminate is nothing more than an obstacle that gets in the way of law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm. This commonsense proposal will make firearm transfers more affordable and remove this blatant infringement on every Americans’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms. I will continue standing up against any attempts to infringe on the Second Amendment,” Feenstra said.