Gun safe amendment lined up for tax bill

People who buy gun safes could soon be free from having to pay sales taxes on them.

A bill before the Minnesota Legislature would exempt those locking storage containers from the state sales tax. The House Tax Committee has put it in the mix for possible inclusion in a bigger tax package coming this session.

Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, said it’s a common-sense plan.

“We’ve heard a lot about gun safety this session and throughout the country in this debate. This bill is pretty straight forward of just encouraging the safe storage of firearms in the state. We all know we’re not going to be banning them due to the Second Amendment.”

The bill would apply to purchases beginning in July and is estimated to cost the state about $300,000 per year in lost revenue. According to a Revenue Department analysis, the gun safe and vault industry exceeded $825 million in sales last year, and that half of safe sales are for residential use.

But putting a gun measure in the tax bill could give advocates of gun-control legislation a hook to seek votes through amendments when the bill hits the floor.

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