Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:16 PM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
Lawmakers Call for Stricter Gun Control Even As They Subsidize Gun Industry
One of the consequences of the tragedy at Sandy Hook is an ardent debate over gun control laws all over the country. In Massachusetts, for instance, which has an assault weapons ban, Governor Deval Patrick, along with members of the legislature, is now trying to figure out how to close gun loopholes. Rep. David Linsky says he wants to go over “every single line, every single comma of our gun laws” to prevent ownership of the kinds of gun used in Connecticut. These debates are interesting mostly for what they leave out – the economics of the gun industry itself and its subsidization by the state through various tax credits, direct spending, and legal forbearance.
Smith & Wesson, one of the largest gun makers in the country, is headquartered in Springfield, MA. According to the company’s 2012 annual investment report to the SEC (10-k), Smith & Wesson received a large multi-million dollar tax credit from the state that started in 2010 and will continue until 2017. This tax credit, of $6.0 million, brought a maximum of 225 jobs to the state, or roughly twenty seven thousand dollars of taxpayer money per job, and was awarded by an obscure committee called “the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.” That amount works out to a little less than $1 per person in Massachusetts, money that goes straight to Smith & Wesson’s bottom line. Most Massachusetts residents don’t know their legislators and Governor have donated a dollar in their name to Smith & Wesson through job creation tax credits. Regardless of their views on gun control, I’m guessing Massachusetts taxpayers probably don’t favor subsidization of the industry at such a rich rate.
At the same time as Smith & Wesson receives such bounty from the state, the gunmaker has given over $1 million to the National Rifle Association (NRA), the biggest lobbying group for guns. This means that the state of Massachusetts, while considering further regulations on gun purchases, is at the same time indirectly funding the gun lobby. To actually reduce the number of guns on the streets, Linsky, and many of our state and Federal officials, could start by ending the subsidization of gun makers through tax credits and security funds.
Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/12/lawmakers-call-for-stricter-gun-control-even-as-they-subsidize-gun-industry.html#Q0uPLkpIy21FowoL.99
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