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The Secret Government Plot To Tax Firearms (That Doesn't Exist)

August 20, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

<img src=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3545/3357824695_ed3172e63f_b.jpg alt=“Gun Collection”>

Over the past six months or so, I’ve seen an occasional e-mail about SB 2099, a bill that would supposedly require gun owners to declare their firearms on tax forms. During the past few days, however, the volume of questions about the bill has increased. So, I thought I would write a bit about SB 2099 to try and set the record straight.

When I first received an e-mail about the SB 2099, I knew there was no bill by that number in the Senate. If you take a look at the Bills page on OpenCongress right now, and click the button for Senate bills, you’ll see that the most recent legislation introduced is S. 1648. So, naturally, I turned to Google. This article from Urban Legends was the first result:

Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Sep. 2000
Status: Outdated / False

The good people at Urban Legends do an incredible job debunking the claims made by the e-mail that’s circulating around, and even go so far as linking to a statement released by the National Rifle Association earlier this year:

Like many rumors, there’s just a grain of truth to this one. Someone’s recycling an old alert, which wasn’t even very accurate when it was new.

There actually was a U.S. Senate bill with that number that would have taxed handguns—nine years ago. It was introduced by anti-gun Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and it would have included handguns under the National Firearms Act’s tax and registration scheme. This has nothing to do with anyone’s Form 1040, of course.

Back in 2000, the NRA didn’t even encourage their members to work against the bill, recognizing (as Sen. Reed did) the legislation had no chance of being passed out of committee.

In short, an inaccurate rumor from 2000 is still running the rounds today, and still scaring people into writing the NRA and their lawmakers to stop it, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Image used under a creative commons license by Jason Sansone.

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