Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate have introduced legislation to exempt sales tax from guns and ammunition and provide business incentive growth in Ohio.
House Bill (HB) 189, sponsored by State Representative Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) and companion bill Senate Bill (SB) 134, sponsored by State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) aim to remove sales tax from guns and ammunition and provide gun and ammunition manufacturers a tax credit that would offset the federal excise tax imposed on these manufacturers.
According to Cutrona (pictured above, right), the government should not tax rights guaranteed to Americans in the Bill of Rights.
“Rights guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights should not be taxed. With this bill, we are enforcing the constitutional rights of our citizens while helping Ohio’s businesses and consumers,” Cutrona said.
The representative noted that this legislation intends to make Ohio more competitive with other states.
“The thought process behind this is to make our related businesses and industries in Ohio more competitive with neighboring states moving forward,” Cutrona said.
According to Schaffer (pictured above, left), he is proud to work alongside Cutrona to remove these burdensome taxes on Ohioans.
“I am proud to work with Representative Cutrona on removing burdensome taxation on Ohioans exercising their Second Amendment right. This is the least we can do to make owning a firearm for self-defense, hunting, and sport more affordable for the average Ohioan,” Schaffer said.
If passed, this legislation would make Ohio one of the first states to exempt Second Amendment-protected goods from sales tax.
Buckeye Firearms Association executive director Dean Rieck told The Ohio Star that he applauds the lawmakers on the introduction of this essential legislation.
“Firearms have been deemed “essential” items in Ohio, so it’s appropriate to provide a tax break for both buyers and manufacturers. We applaud the work of Rep. Cutrona and Sen. Schaffer to provide aid in a time when costs are going up on everything and Ohioans are struggling to make ends meet,” Rieck told The Star.
The pair of bills comes as House Bill (HB) 51, known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” sponsored by State Representatives Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) and Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) progresses through the statehouse. The legislation takes several steps to protect the Second Amendment by adding further protections to the right to bear arms and removing federal firearms law references from the state firearms control law.
Currently, 10 other House Republicans have signed on to HB 189, and one additional Senate Republican has signed on to SB 134.
HB 189 is not yet in a house committee. SB 124 is to begin hearings in the Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee.