NSSF: Gun Laws Cost Connecticut $50 Million in Tax Revenue

NSSF: Gun Laws Cost Connecticut $50 Million in Tax Revenue
The headquarters of the NSSF and SAAMI in Newtown, Connecticut. photo from newstimes.comweb photo

The state of Connecticut was once, and to some degree still is, a nexus of American firearms manufacturing. But in recent years, the state’s influx of extremely strict gun legislation has driven many gun makers out or caused them to reduce the manufacturing they do there. And now, a reports says it is literally costing the state millions.

This story from newstime.com says that the state's gun policies has cost the firearms industry 3,000 jobs in the state—and has cost the state itself nearly $50 million in taxes revenue since 2013.

"The rest of the industry in that same time frame has seen large increases across the country in job growth and economic impact," said Jake McGuigan, the senior director for state affairs at the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). "Other states that did not pass adverse legislation to the Second Amendment did not see decreases in revenue."

From the story: "The declining numbers for the firearms business in Connecticut are included in the NSSF's annual economic impact report, which shows that from 2013 to 2016 the industry grew from $38 billion to $51 billion nationwide, and jobs increased from 245,000 to 300,000."

However, in Connecticut, where Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has led efforts to ban so-called "assault weapons" and high capacity magazines, and who recently proposed an exorbitant and prohibitive price increase on gun permits in the state, has seen a decrease in the economic impact of the firearms industry from $1.9 billion in 2013 to $1.2 billion in 2016, according to the NSSF.

As McGuigan points out in the story, that’s a significant amount when it comes to the state’s struggling budget—the reason, Malloys says, for the permit price hikes.

"In 2013 we paid $134 million in state taxes to Connecticut, and if we would have kept on the same pace, Connecticut would have $140 million more today," McGuigan said in the story. "That is 10 percent of the budget deficit."

Connecticut is facing a projected $1.4 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year, beginning July 1.

Malloy’s office doesn’t agree with the NSSF’s assessment of the numbers.

In the story, spokesperson Chris McClure suggested that multiple economic factors were involved and said several statistics show positive trends of the gun industry in the state.

"Our office is currently reviewing the (NSSF) data, as the information we have regarding this industry does not align," McClure said in the story. "Interestingly, according to their report, Connecticut does quite well in terms of economic output per capita."

A week ago, the NSSF joined the NRA and the 24,000-member Connecticut Citizens Defense League in opposition of Malloy's proposed quadrupling of gun permit fees in the state and increased background checks, which they say will hurt the state's 250,000 gun owners and further damage the industry, the story says.

Getting a pistol permit renewed (required every five years) would cost $370. Costs for a new gun owner would be over $500 in fees. The increase would make Connecticut’s permit fees the highest in the nation after New York City.