State finance committee not buying tax break for gun safes

State finance committee not buying tax break for gun safes

reporter photo

HARTFORD — Rep. Rob Sampson is once again pushing to create a tax credit to incentivize gun owners to purchase a gun safe. 

Sampson, R-Wolcott, along with fellow Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford, co-sponsored a bill that would give gun owners a personal income tax credit for up to $150 for the purchase of a gun safe. 

The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, however, has no plans to take up the bill up this session, said committee co-chair Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford. 

Rojas said the committee was a “little hesitant to create tax credits” given the state’s financial condition. 

“It was less about the policy and more about the financial impact,” Rojas said. 

The one-time tax credit would be equal to the price of the safe, but could not exceed $150, the bill states. 

Sampson argued the bill “not only encourages safety within a home, but also will prevent more guns ending up on the street as a result of break-ins.” 

“If we can encourage people to purchase gun safes, I think less of those guns will end up in the hands of criminals,” Sampson added. 

Fishbein also expressed his support. 

“Connecticut’s current structure of collecting revenue is obsolete,” Fishbein said. “Until such time as that is realized, I think this small credit for the voluntary purchase of a gun safe is a good idea.” 

Sampson said he has submitted a similar bill in the legislature every year since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, but the idea has never received much support and has never advanced beyond committee level.

Rojas said he believes most “sensible” gun owners don’t need a tax incentive to purchase a gun safe.

“At the end of the day, I think most gun owners are going to buy a gun safe whether they get a tax credit or not,” Rojas said. 

Rojas said the committee receives “dozens and dozens” of bills each year proposing tax credit incentives. 

“It’d be great to do all of them, but at the same time it results in revenue loss,” Rojas said. 

Fishbein said the fiscal impact of the bill “is small as far as I can conceptualize.”


Twitter: @MatthewZabierek