Rumor Control: Does S. 1813 bill allow the IRS to seize your passport and your guns?
Reports have been circulating regarding S. 1813--a highway bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate. The story goes that this bill would allow the IRS to seize your passport and your guns if you owe more than $50,000 in back taxes. The claims are totally bogus.
Although the bill is certainly long and complex, those who suggest that the bill is anti-gun are totally misreading it.
The only firearms-related language in this bill is part of a lengthy provision on hazardous material transportation. The language (see bottom of page 1320) makes clear that the personal transportation of firearms and ammunition isn't regulated or prohibited by the federal hazardous material transportation laws, and commercial transportation isn't prohibited by those laws. This is a pro-gun, rather than anti-gun, provision.
Some reports claim the bill would allow the government to revoke gun permits. However, the "permits" referred to (on page 1323 of the bill) are "special permits" related to hazardous material transportation, and have nothing to do with firearms. This section of the bill begins on page 1314 of the bill, which provides citations to the relevant sections of Title 49, U.S. Code, none of which relates to firearms.
All of this is also completely unrelated to the bill's provisions on revocation of passports for people with unpaid taxes. Those provisions appear in a separate part of the bill. Contrary to some reports, the revocation of an individual's passport does not prohibit the person from possessing firearms.
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