Missouri Senate's proposed SB-131 sparks debate over tax relief for firearms sales

CJ Coombs

Earlier this month, it was reported by a station out of St. Louis that Missouri Senate bill SB-131 was moving forward. In fact, several media outlets reported the same information. This bill includes a provision which could change laws regarding taxation on gun sales. In addition, the sellers of firearms could receive tax credits. This topic continues across the media.

To understand the language in the proposed bill, you need to read it in its entirety. The below is an excerpt of SB-131:

Beginning August 28, 2023, this act provides that all sales of firearms and ammunition made in this state shall be exempt from state and local sales taxes.
Beginning August 28, 2023, from every remittance of sales tax to the Director of Revenue made by a person selling firearms or ammunition, the person shall be entitled to deduct and retain an amount equal to the amount of the federal firearms and ammunition excise tax paid by such person on the sale of ammunition and firearms sold by such person.

(Source: SB-131.) This bill is sponsored by 2020-elected Republican Senator Rick Brattin from Cass County, Missouri.

If the bill passes, the effective date would be August 28, 2023. As the bill moves through the Senate, there's always the possibility it won't pass. Kansas City's KMBC9 also stated something like this has been proposed before and it failed.

It stands to reason why some feel the proposed modification in the bill lacks logic. With the rising cost of food we bring to our tables, why not stop taxing food too? As it stands, if the bill were to pass, consumers would still pay sales tax on food, but not on a purchased firearm. 

If there’s going to be a tax exemption on firearms, let there be a tax exemption on groceries too. Some people are trying to wrap their minds around why a buyer of a firearm shouldn’t pay taxes on a sale, and further, why the seller could also receive a tax credit. Why not make other products people use every day tax exempt as well

Maybe the bill would receive a different reaction if our society wasn't experiencing gun violence to the levels that it's reached. Missouri has its own problems with gun violence.

Does the public want gun sales in Missouri to be exempt from state and local taxes? Does the public want Missouri to provide tax credits to those selling the firearms?

An opinion, Why would Missouri exempt guns from sales tax, but leave out other manufacturers? published by the Kansas City Star this month brings up another point. The opinion discusses why special treatment would be provided to those purchasing and selling guns whereas the same special treatment isn't being provided to those who supply food to us. Why not select products we use every day to qualify as tax exempt as opposed to a product that has been a part of violence in society?

If you're concerned about this bill, you can write to Senator Rick Brattin at 201 W. Capitol Ave., Rm. 221, Jefferson City, Missouri 65101, or visit here to e-mail (the e-mail link is below the address).

If you would like to read SB-131 in its entirety, visit here.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms, and I retired early so I could be a writer all day. You could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri because I was born into the Air Force life. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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