Senator Cornyn

Cornyn, Cotton, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Repeal Tax on Certain Firearm Purchases

May 16, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and 11 Senate Republicans introduced the Repealing Illegal Freedom and Liberty Excises (RIFLE) Act, which would remove a burdensome tax imposed on firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act:

“This outdated tax must not continue to burden law-abiding Texans who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Our commonsense legislation would remove this frivolous financial mandate, and I’m glad to support it.”  

“Law-abiding Americans who exercise their Second Amendment rights should not be subject to unnecessary taxes and restrictions preventing them from doing so,” said Sen. Cotton. “Passed into law in 1934, the National Firearms Act needs to be amended. Our legislation will remove the red tape that places an undue financial burden on would-be gun owners.”

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rick Scott (R-FL).

Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-02) introduced companion legislation in the House.


Items regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA), including short-barreled shotguns and rifles, fully automatic firearms, suppressors, and a catchall category of explosives, are subjected to an outdated $200 tax. This tax, which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has acknowledged was intended “to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions” of firearms, has been unchanged since 1934 and is equivalent to $4,648 in today’s dollars. Since 2018, ownership of NFA-regulated items have grown by more than 250% as more sportsmen, shooters, and firearm enthusiasts exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The Repealing Illegal Freedom and Liberty Excises (RIFLE) Act would remove this federally mandated financial burden on law-abiding gun owners and is endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).