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Lawmakers cut tax on on gun club memberships

Tax break to save Floridians about $1 million

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott spent Monday on a tax cut victory tour. Part of his plan eliminated what gun supporters called a tax on the Second Amendment.

National Rifle Association officials said they hope the Department of Revenue will begin the process of returning the taxes they collected on memberships in the past.

J.D. Johnson, at the Talon Gun range about 20 minutes away from Florida's Capitol, said he has about 1,500 membership accounts.

"Our gold membership, which is our highest membership, is about $300 a year," Johnson said.

All of those people were charged sales tax on their membership, but that's about to change. The Legislature passed a tax cut package repealing the extra charge on gun club memberships. It will save member's at the Talon Gun club around $22.

"We really didn't agree with the sales tax in the first place. We questioned it in the first place," Johnson said. "And the Department of Revenue basically said, 'No, it's taxable,' so we charged tax on it. We don't get to make those rules up."

The NRA has had the tax in its sights for about five years.

Former NRA President Marion Hammer said the Department of Revenue was violating the constitution by collecting the tax.

"Only the legislature can regulate guns and ammunition in any way, and certainly, taxing gun clubs is a regulation," Hammer said.

The break promises to save Floridians around $1 million out of the $400 million tax cut package. While the cut passed easily out of the Legislature, there was some concern from Democrats that instead of cutting the fee, the money could be better spent in other areas of the budget.