In opposition to House Bill 5040, Excise tax on ammunition

The public hearing for this proposed legislation is this Thursday, Feb. 27. Act today!

Click here to take action now. Submit written testimony via email to fintestimony@cga.ct.gov using “OPPOSE House Bill 5040” in the subject line. Also contact members of the House Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 5040. When you visit the page, click on the Committee Membership bar to expand the page and see links to contact members. Create your own comments. It can be short and to-the-point.

Committee Member,
I’m taking some time to write to you in opposition to House Bill 5040, An act establishing an excise tax on ammunition.

The legislation penalizes an already stigmatized group of law-abiding citizens who simply want to target shoot, go hunting, shoot in competitions, take firearms training programs, and/or train for self-defense situations.

Everyone agrees those who own firearms for self-defense should take time to practice and train. Class commitments of 16 to 40 hours per year involves between 1,000 and 4,000 rounds of ammunition. If you think this is excessive, I’d encourage you to expand your exposure beyond the eight-hour basic NRA program. A novice to intermediate, two-day program will involve shooting at least 1,000 rounds.

The proposed excise tax would increase the cost for training between $80 and $450 (or more) per year. The tax will discourage firearm owners from training. This excise tax disproportionately affects lower income, law-abiding gun owners. Often, they may live in a high-crime environment. It’s already expensive to take classes, and this tax will clearly make it even more difficult. In short, this excise tax is unacceptable.

In Connecticut, firearm owners already pay significant taxes and fees to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. Plus, they need to take required training. Connecticut requires ammunition purchasers have a pistol permit or an ammunition certificate. Almost everyone applies for the pistol permit which involves:

  • Basic NRA or equivalent training class (government mandate) – $125 to $200
  • Payment made to the state for background check – $12
  • Payment made to the state for the application fee – $75
  • Payment made to your local town for the application fee – $70

That’s more than $600 in fees for a couple to get their pistol permits. These fees and requirements are clearly designed to discourage individuals from applying for their permit. Some students who have taken my Basic NRA Pistol class, WAIT to apply due to the excessive fees.

In addition to these fees, the state also collects $70 every five years from each pistol permit holder for renewals.

The federal government already collects an 11 percent excise tax on the purchase of ammunition. Between excise taxes for ammunition and firearms, plus additional fees, the federal government collects about $1 billion in taxes and fees from law-abiding gun owners.

That’s more than enough taxation, and I encourage you to vote NO on this bill.