Michigan Set to Exempt Gun Safety Devices From Taxes

The RedHead Damery King of Bucks 25-Gun safe from BassPro.

In what legislators are calling a move to promote gun safety, a bill was approved by the state Senate Thursday that will allow Michigan gun owners to buy gun safes and trigger locks without having to pay the state's 6 percent sales tax.

The bill was unanimously approved 37-0 by the state Senate and sent to the House. If it passes there, it would exempt firearms safety devices from the sales and use taxes until 2018, according to this story from washingtontimes.com.

"Michigan should be doing everything we can to promote gun safety," said Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, the bill's sponsor.

According to this story from miamiherald.com, a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis said committee testimony indicated a 60-cent tax break on a $10 trigger lock would not be enough of an incentive to change consumer behavior. But supporters point out that any increase in the number of safety devices sold could lead to fewer accidental shootings and gun thefts—and that purchasing a gun safe is often a sizable purchase of at least $1,000, a point when sales tax really starts to matter.

Sen. Rebekah Warren (D) amended the legislation, adding a requirement that stores notify gun buyers of the sales tax holiday, in writing, during transactions. A notice must also be posted on the premises.

Depending on how "firearms safety devices" ends up being defined, it could mean about $1 million a year in forfeited taxes for the state, according to the state Treasury Department.