Michigan gun owners could buy gun safes and trigger locks without having to pay the state’s 6 percent sales tax under legislation approved Thursday that backers said would promote gun safety.
The bill, approved 37-0 by the Senate and sent to the House, would exempt firearm safety devices from the sales and use taxes until 2018.
“Michigan should be doing everything we can to promote gun safety,” said the sponsor, Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton.
A Senate Fiscal Agency analysis said committee testimony indicated a 60-cent tax break on a $10 trigger lock would not be enough of an incentive to change consumer behavior. But supporters contended the measure could lead to fewer accidental shootings and gun thefts. Safes can cost thousands of dollars.
Democratic Sen. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor successfully amended the legislation to require stores to notify gun buyers, in writing, of the sales tax holiday during transactions and also post a notice on the premises. She said 1.7 million American children live in homes with unlocked guns, and many know where their parents keep them and the ammunition.
If “firearm safety devices” are defined broadly, the bill could mean about $1 million a year in taxes being collected, much of which goes to the $13.7 billion school aid fund, according to the state Treasury Department.