While most gun owners oppose mandatory storage laws, we also tend to believe people should lock up their guns when not in use. Of course, our definition of “not in use” varies from those who would insist on mandatory storage laws. The point, though, is that we tend to think most people who have firearms should buy devices that store their guns safely.
Now, a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would offer a tax credit for them. It’s just not…well, it’s not quite what you would think.
A new bill before the U.S. House of Representatives would give tax credits to retailers every time they sell a safe gun storage device.
“We’ve had far too many tragedies,” said Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., who wrote the bill introduced Wednesday. “This is a bipartisan, common-sense bill to prevent family fire.”
He said the added incentive of the small tax credit will prevent suicides and school shootings, saving lives.
“I was thinking of this as a father of two young children,” he said. “Everything we can do to get those firearms locked is really critically important.”
Studies show more than 75% of school shootings and 80% of youth suicides are linked to unsecured guns in the home.
Uh, OK. So why give the tax credit to just the retailer?
Look, gun safes are expensive. A quality gun safe can cost about as much as a used car, depending on the variables. That’s a lot of money to shell out when someone may not really think they need one. After all, maybe they know their kids know better than to go looking at guns. Maybe they don’t have kids.
Regardless, this doesn’t really offer any incentive for people to buy these things, only incentive for retailers to sell them.
The problem is, retailers already have a motivation to sell gun safes. It’s called “profit.” I know that a lot of Democrats think of that as a bad word, but it’s not. It’s a pretty good motivator, and retailers do try to sell gun safes. The problem is that not everyone is interested in buying them.
Nothing in this proposal would actually impact the number of gun storage devices sold. Nothing at all.
Oh, it’ll allow politicians to pat themselves on the back for their “forward-thinking efforts.” It won’t tell me just why I should cave and spend even more money when I’m at these retailers, though.
Look, I don’t actually have an issue with this bill. In and of itself, it’s fine so far as I can tell. I’ll have to look more at the details, of course, but it’s hardly the most egregious effort a Democrat could put forward, which is why it appears to have bipartisan support and may actually make it through the Senate.
I just don’t think it’s going to create the impact its proponents think it will.
Gun buyers aren’t blind lemmings doing whatever the retailers tell them to. If they were, there wouldn’t be a “Trump Slump,” now would there? That means retailers aren’t going to make people buy these devices if they’re not interested.
Extending the tax credit to include buyers, though? That might actually make a difference.