Schuitmaker to introduce legislation making it easier for gun owners to purchase safety devices

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation will be introduced Wednesday by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker that would exempt gun safety devices from state sales and use taxes.

“This common-sense legislation will make gun locks and safes more affordable and accessible for all gun owners,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “Locked firearms don’t fall into the hands of criminals or put innocent people at the risk of unintentional injury.

“Our Second Amendment provides a fundamental right to all law-abiding citizens to own a firearm. We can honor that right and promote responsible gun ownership practices by adopting this legislation.”

Oakland County Commissioner Bill Dwyer, a retired 49-year veteran of law enforcement and former Farmington Hills police chief, supports the legislation.

“In my career, I’ve seen far too many tragedies that could have been avoided, such as accidents that would have been stopped by a trigger lock or when an unsecured gun, owned by a law-abiding citizen, is stolen and used by a criminal with deadly consequences,” Dwyer said.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for America’s firearms industry, also expressed support for the bills.

“This legislation will help to encourage even more gun owners to safely and responsibly store their guns when not in use, which will in turn help to reduce accidents which are already at historic lows,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.

“Removing the barrier to purchasing these safety devices is a no-brainer,” added Schuitmaker. “If our guns are not safely stored, a tragedy can happen when we least expect it. Removing the sales and use taxes on safety devices is just one practical way to encourage and promote safe gun habits.”

Schuitmaker noted that under current law a person is charged a sales tax on any gun safety device he or she buys in a Michigan-based store or a use tax on any device that is purchased from outside of the state. In some instances, the taxes on the safety devices can hold a person back from buying this important equipment. Firearms safety devices are exempt from sales tax in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington.

Senate Bill 364 would amend the General Sales Tax Act and Senate Bill 365 would amend the Use Tax Act.