Bill Introduced – Turn In Your Guns For Tax Credit


On January 13, 2013, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) introduced H.R. 226.IH, “Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for our Streets Act,” a bill that will amend the 1996 IRS tax code and “allow a credit against tax for surrendering to authorities certain assault weapons.” Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) has co-sponsored the bill. The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means on January 14, 2013. People who turn in assault weapons can receive a $1.000 tax credit per year for two years, for a total credit of $2,000.

Among the weapons included in the bill is the Bushmaster AR-15 that was used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

The bill states that to qualify for a tax credit, there are three Special Rules:

Section 25E (b) (1-3):

(1) WEAPON MUST BE LAWFULLY POSSESSED- No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) with respect to any specified assault weapon not lawfully possessed by the taxpayer at the time the weapon is surrendered.

(2) SUBSTANTIATION REQUIREMENT- No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) for the surrender of any specified assault weapon unless the taxpayer substantiates the surrender by a contemporaneous written acknowledgment of the surrender by the Federal, State, or local governmental entity to which the weapon is surrendered.

(3) DENIAL OF DOUBLE BENEFIT- The taxpayer may elect the application of this section with respect to only 1 weapon, and if such election is made for any taxable year, no deduction shall be allowed under any other provision of this chapter with respect to the surrender or contribution of the specified assault weapon. (Source: Library of Congress)

My translation:

  1. Must be licensed to the person claiming the credit
  2. Must be surrendered in writing
  3. Only one weapon can be turned in for credit per year, for a total of two weapons in two years

Why the limit? Probably because the credit that will be given is far above the price of many of the weapons on the list. Hypothetically, without a specified limit, an individual could purchase numerous weapons and turn them in and bank big time.

Do I need to tell anyone that the right is “up in arms” about this bill? The right-wing blogosphere is positively ablaze. They are calling it a “gun confiscation bill.”

The bill is yet more evidence that federal and state governments are now pulling out all stops short of door-to-door confiscation in their coordinated effort to disarm the American people. (Source)

This is not about keeping the “crazy” people from owning weapons or the “wrong” people. It’s not about getting these military style weapons off the streets either. It’s about reducing the number of privately owned weapons in this country by any means necessarily. (Source)

Do you really think they are going to destroy these things or do you think there will be this built-in smoke screen to divert these weapons to places like those 35 countries in Africa where we just sent our military advisers? (Source)

The bill is yet more evidence that federal and state governments are now pulling out all stops short of door-to-door confiscation in their coordinated effort to disarm the American people. (Source)

The language that has the paranoid right particularly concerned is in Sec. 25E (a ) (1). They don’t like the worlds “surrender” and “privately owned.” See above copied and pasted comments for the “why” on this.

In the case of an individual who surrenders a specified assault weapon to the United States or a State or local government (or political subdivision thereof) as part of a Federal, State, or local public safety program to reduce the number of privately owned weapons, on the election of the taxpayer there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter an amount equal to $2,000.   (Source: Library of Congress)

They also have a problem with the words “not particularly suitable for sporting purposes” in Sec. 25E (c) (1) (L):

A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, and a firearm shall not be determined to be particularly suitable for sporting purposes solely because the firearm is suitable for use in a sporting event. (Source: Library of Congress)

In my foray into the crazy world of right-wing blogs tonight, here is what I’ve come up with in regards to what they’re so freaked out about:

  • The words “privately owned weapons.” This their “proof” that the government is doing everything it can to disarm private citizens rather than get assault weapons out of the hands of criminals. I keep seeing the phrase “strikingly honest language.” I think they’re all copying and pasting from each other’s blogs. Of course, coming up with original material is a lot to ask.
  • They have a problem with the word “surrender.” It’s semantics, people. What word or phrase would you have Congress use? “Turn in?” “Give up?” I’d like to know what sort of verbiage would be acceptable to gun freaks.
  • The words “suitable for sporting purposes.” They think that the government is going to ban any weapon that’s not used for hunting or shooting, and therefore take away our 2nd Amendment rights to defend ourselves, our homes, and our families.

IF this bill gets passed, it is a voluntary program, people. No one is coming to your homes to “confiscate” your guns. And I know that many  law-abiding right-wing folks will exploit the law for their own gain by buying the cheapest gun on the list and using it to get a tax credit. Don’t want to participate? Don’t turn in your guns. Duh.

You can read the full text of the bill and see the full list of weapons that will qualify for the tax credit on The Library of Congress website.



I am an unapologetic member of the Christian Left, and have spent a lot of time working with “the least of these” and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. I’m passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics I discuss, subscribe to my public updates on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me via LinkedIn. I also have a grossly neglected blogFind me somewhere and let’s discuss stuff.