Owners of various local gun stores sent members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus a letter Wednesday asking them to support the online Internet sales tax bill pending before Congress, arguing that without it they may go out of business because of competition they face from online retailers.
Breitbart News has learned 25 gun shop owners argue that without action from Congress, people may “soon have to search far and wide to find a locally-owned gun store at which you can develop a lasting relationship with the owner, handle firearms and other equipment with a trained expert, and support hunting and fishing in your community.”
“The most vociferous criticism of the Marketplace Fairness Act has come from outside interest groups claiming to represent conservative values,” they write. “Many of us consider ourselves conservative, and we frankly believe that the objections raised by these outside groups are not valid.”
U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a 69-27 vote, but conservatives have argued the bill could actually stifle small business owners that do not have the resources of larger retailers. This group argues, though, that the bill’s “goal is to level the playing field in the retail marketplace by requiring online merchants to collect state and local sales taxes on purchases made at their stores–just like we have to do.”
“Under the current system, an outdated legal loophole allows online retailers to forgo collecting these taxes. The result is that online stores appear to have lower prices because sales taxes are not included in final prices,” they write.
The retailers argue that “Brick-and-mortar stores like our gun shops are suffering from this unfair” advantages that online competitors get by not having to charge sales tax. Thus, “stores are shrinking, cutting workers, and even closing their doors as a result.” They say the “Marketplace Fairness Act” would merely “give states the power to collect sales taxes online that are already due (but people don’t pay).”
The signatories of the letter include: