BFA provides testimony in support of HB 189 to exempt firearms from sales tax

On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, Buckeye Firearms Association presented testimony in the House Ways and Means Committee supporting HB 189 to exempt from sales and use tax the sale of certain firearms and ammunition and to authorize nonrefundable tax credits for small arms and ammunition manufacturers.

This was the second hearing for this legislation, sponsored by Representative Al Cutrona.

Here is BFA's testimony:

To: House Ways and Means Committee
From: Rob Sexton, Legislative Affairs Director, Buckeye Firearms Association
Date: September 26, 2023
Re: Support for HB 189

Mr. Chairman, members of the House Ways and Means Committee, I am here on behalf of Buckeye Firearms Association in favor of House Bill 186. We are here to speak favorably of the bill and ask for its quick approval.

House Bill 189 has two main components. For the consumer, a sales tax exemption on the purchase of firearms and ammunition. This is a great idea. The government should not be taxing people exercising their second amendment rights any more than it should be charging people for exercising their rights of free speech. In today’s hyperinflationary economy, a 7%+ discount provides a nice incentive to a buyer. We’re currently in a time of chaos and crime in our larger cities and helping law abiding people who wish to protect their loved ones and their families is smart. Applying the tax exemption to ammunition also makes it easier to spend time at the range training and practicing for current gun owners, which is something we all want. While the sales tax is not exorbitant, the rising cost of nearly everything we shop for today has everyone searching for even a modest amount of relief.

House Bill 189 provides an opportunity for manufacturers to bring their firearm and ammunition production here to the Buckeye State or expand the footprint of those already located here. As more liberal states have moved toward punitive gun control. Firearm industry companies have fled those states in search of a business-friendly location to manufacture their constitutionally protected products. Ohio should be a destination for those fleeing governments hostile to their businesses.

House Bill 189 provides a refundable income tax or credit to these companies. The bill is a win-win-win for all involved. It encourages manufacturers to bring their business to a state that welcomes their presence. It stimulates manufacturing in our state that badly needs those jobs. It helps communities that have been hollowed out as previous industries have taken their manufacturing overseas or south of the border. And it provides a potential home to the firearms industry to ensure the availability of firearms to a populace that depends on them to protect their loved ones.

It is for all these reasons that Buckeye Firearms Association requests the House Ways and Means Committee quickly approve HB 189 for consideration by the full House. We appreciate Representative Cutrona for authoring this legislation.

HB 189 must move through both the House and Senate in order to reach the Governor's desk for his signature. However, a companion bill, SB 124, sponsored by Senator Tim Schaffer, has also been introduced in the Senate to speed the legislative process.

We urge committee members in both chambers to move this legislation without delay.

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.