Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Real Gun Safety Bill

Given that the gun prohibitionists are trying to rebrand themselves as "gun safety" groups, it is nice to see someone introduce a bill that actually does improve firearm safety and their safe storage. Rep. John Carter (R-TX) has introduced HR 1883 which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide a tax deduction for the purchase of a gun safe or other firearms safe storage device. The bill is called the Secure Firearms Act and has been co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). It is important to note that this bill has been endorsed by the NRA, NSSF, and Gun Owners of America.

From Carter's release on the bill:
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Keeping more firearms away from unauthorized users would prevent many cases of gun violence with no threat to the 2nd Amendment Rights of law-abiding citizens, and that could be rapidly achieved through bi-partisan legislation introduced today in the House by Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Carter (R-TX31) and fellow Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Member Henry Cuellar (D-TX28).

“The most common factor in the mass shootings over the past years is that people who should not have had access to firearms managed to acquire them anyway,” said Carter, a former Texas district judge. “We don’t attempt to address all the reasons for that in this bill, but specifically target better security of firearms by law-abiding citizens through incentives, not mandates.”

“While nationally there has been much discussion over how to prevent mass shootings, there is no debate over the need to promote responsible firearm ownership,” said Cuellar. “As a concealed handgun license holder and strong supporter of 2nd amendment rights, this is a common sense first step towards increasing access for Americans to purchase devices that will prevent the misuse of firearms. While this legislation is not meant to be a ‘fix-all’, this is a bipartisan idea that Congress should immediately act on. I’m proud to join my fellow Texan and friend, Chairman Carter on this important legislation.”

Mass shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, and Newtown all involved people who should not have had access to firearms. The most recent Newtown tragedy revealed the shooter’s mother passed the federal background check, legally acquired weapons, and bought a safe, but apparently left the safe unlocked and the weapons exposed to her mentally unstable son.

“As responsible gun owners, let’s make sure our weapons are more secure in the future,” says Carter. “We can use this legislation to kick off a nationwide push to put gun safes or security devices in every home with unattended firearms by the close of 2014, and then let’s push for everyone to use them,” Carter says. “That’s a specific goal that will reduce gun violence by a date certain, and a goal that Congress, the President, and the firearms community can unite behind.”

The Secure Firearms Act includes:

  1. Up to a $1,200 tax deduction to purchase a gun safe and/or security devices through December 31, 2014.
  2. A prohibition on the IRS use of tax deduction claims to produce any form of gun owner registration. 

The White House officially called for improving safe gun storage on January 16, as part of President Obama’s initiative to reduce gun violence, writing “The President believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms . … .But this right comes with a responsibility to safely store guns to prevent them from accidentally or intentionally being used to harm others. To that end, the President will launch a national responsible gun ownership campaign.”

In addition to the President’s call for safe gun storage, the Secure Firearms Act is endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of American, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

“The NRA is the national leader in teaching firearms safety, and we support the Secure Firearms Act of 2013 which encourages the safe storage of firearms in the home,” said James Baker, director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action Federal Affair Division. “Rep. John Carter is a leader on this issue, and we look forward to working with Members of Congress to pass this sensible legislation and provide a much-deserved tax credit to responsible firearm owners.”

“This proposal encourages improved firearms storage security with no threat to the right to keep and bear arms,” said Gun Owners of America President Larry Pratt. “The bill provides a solid benefit to law-abiding gun owners nationwide, and will increase public safety in the process. We need more well-conceived bipartisan legislation like this in Congress.”

“Members of America’s firearms industry thank Rep. Carter for his leadership in offering a real, bi-partisan solution that will help to make our families safer by helping gun owners to responsibly and safely store their firearms when not in use so that they are inaccessible to unauthorized and at-risk individuals,” said Lawrence G. Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel.

“The issue of firearms is emotionally-charged, over which it is sometimes difficult to find common ground for many Americans,” says Carter. “But this is one bill that will reduce illegal firearms use, is constitutionally-sound, paid for with appropriate corresponding budget cuts, and should be supported by all sides on this debate. I encourage the President to immediately endorse this legislation, and for our House and Senate leaders to rapidly move this bill to his desk. If we succeed, we will show the American people we can work together on tough issues to do what is right for the country.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation sent out a release this morning that echoes their comments in Rep. Carter's press release.

The bill's language isn't available on-line yet but I like what I'm seeing here. I also like the idea of getting a tax deduction for buying a new safe to hold all those new guns I plan to buy!


  1. I keep a pistol in my fire safe along with the important papers. Does that count? I wonder what safes will qualify.

    I can see it now - a whole new 15,000 person bureaucracy within the IRS called the Secure Firearms Branch. I'm sure they will need a couple million rounds of ammo, too.

    (As you can guess, as a smaller government libertarian I am against this. Yes, we should lock up our guns, but why make the deficit larger to do so?)

  2. I also love how this is going to expose the anti-rights cultists for who they really are? Where's the Brady Campaign, the VPC, the CSGV, etc, etc, announcements in support of this? They're not trying to take our guns, right? So why would they not support this?

    Oh. Right. Duh. They're lying.

  3. FYH: make the deficit larger? Didn't you read the announcement? "paid for with appropriate corresponding budget cuts"

    I don't get why a libertarian would be against this. Sure, it would be nice to see a full repeal of the 16th Amendment, which I advocate, but I doubt the Mr. Carter from Texas would endorse something that would increase the size of the IRS. Dude. All you're likely going to need is a receipt like you do for every other deduction.

    You're also not looking the strategic advantage of simply proposing this. It's likely to have a tough time even getting a floor vote in the Senate and even tougher time getting the current occupant of the White House to sign it. This will, once again, expose to anyone watching the hypocrisy of the anti-rights cultist groups who are trying to re-brand themselves as 'gun safety' advocates.

    1. For "appropriate budget cuts" they will do as Congress always does and defer the growth of some unnamed programs. Yet the deficit will grow.

      Don't get me wrong. Politically this is an awesome piece of legislation. It makes the "gun safety" libs face up to whether they really support safety, or bans and confiscation. Since the truth is the latter, I expect aneurysms.

      The truth is no one cares any more whether laws are constitutional under the 9th and 10 Amendments. We have all come to accept the overarching federal government, and I see little to tell me we will ever go back.

    2. "...they will do as Congress always does and defer the growth of some unnamed programs"

      Yeah, I get that.

      Personally, I seriously doubt this will have an effect any more than the level of noise on the budget.

      I expect this will not pass the Senate, and maybe not even come up for a vote in the House, and most certainly, if it's a standalone bill, not ever be signed by President Zero.

      It is, nevertheless, a brilliant political maneuver.

  4. I do not understand why the NRA has refused to listen to my ideas regarding using the tax code to advance our cause.

    Above the line tax deductions of gun school tuition, travel, ammunition, inter alia. Above the line tax deductions for paying the tuition of a family member to attend gun school.

    I hope this Texas bill is copied and expanded to all other states.

    Shootin' Buddy

  5. "2 - A prohibition on the IRS use of tax deduction claims to produce any form of gun owner registration"

    I have a nice bridge to sell you too.....

  6. Great, but you don’t have to worry about tax if you can get a gun safe for free! Here’s a great offer going over on Facebook for getting your hands on a free gun safe: Hope this helps out.

  7. Wow, this is the first time I have heard of this. I am definitely going to do some research on this as it is very relevant to my website. I think this is a great approach to gun safety, as it will encourage more people to buy a gun safe. I do however wonder, what type of safes will be eligible for such an offer?!

  8. Firearms are really dangerous especially when the owner is irresponsible. It is very vital to get a gun safe where you can place these guns. I've found great tools on Pro Gun Safe Reviews where you can be certain that your guns are safe.

  9. Gun control is a myth and doesn't work because criminals will still find ways to obtain firearms and ammo, then us the law abiding citizen are left defenseless and venerable to crime. Also it gives the government full control over its people.