I never realized how nefarious the $200 tax stamp was.


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DHJenkins
August 29, 2014, 09:45 PM
$200 doesn't really seem like much now, but I was watching a show yesterday and came across a startling fact while doing some research.

The stamps have been $200 since 1934!:what:

To bring that home, the average yearly wage in the US in 1934 was $1,600 and the average house price was $5,700.

That's about 1.5 months wages for the stamp - at a time when a new gun was less than $30.

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zoom6zoom
August 29, 2014, 09:50 PM
Let's hope they don't get the idea to adjust it for inflation

MErl
August 29, 2014, 09:50 PM
Yep, it was meant to tax the items into oblivion. We should consider ourselves lucky (maybe) that it has not been revised.

vamo
August 29, 2014, 09:53 PM
Yep and thats a big reason NFA items are becoming more and more popular inflation has brought it to a downright reasonable price.

Edit: zoom6zoom, better believe its been talked about but fortunately our politicians don't have the stomach for it.

jerkface11
August 29, 2014, 10:07 PM
They're scared to touch the NFA any tampering with it could result in an unwelcome rider.

Warp
August 29, 2014, 10:08 PM
I'll go ahead and give you the next epiphany: Every $ cost associated with the ownership, possession, or bearing of arms is really only there to make keeping and bearing arms prohibitive.

Mr.510
August 29, 2014, 10:53 PM
For grins I put $200 in 1934 dollars into an inflation calculator and it says that's $3,555.97 in 2014 dollars.

happygeek
August 29, 2014, 11:10 PM
I'll go ahead and give you the next epiphany: Every $ cost associated with the ownership, possession, or bearing of arms is really only there to make keeping and bearing arms prohibitive.


+1. Bright ideas for laws from the Brady Bunch/CSGV/VPC/MAIG/etc tend to also add to the time involved and sheer hassle factor of legally buying & owning firearms. I'm left with the inescapable conclusion that it's not a coincidence.

DHJenkins
August 29, 2014, 11:19 PM
Inflation isn't a very good marker. To put that $3555 dollars (vs $200) into perpective, the avg car price in 1934 was $650.

In 2014, the average car price is $32,000.

If you tie the two together, it's more like $9,800.

Tommygunn
August 30, 2014, 12:23 AM
That's about 1.5 months wages for the stamp - at a time when a new gun was less than $30.

The reason $200 was selected was because that was the price of the Thompson submachinegun on the market. A "Tommy Gun" without the fancy "Cutts Compensator" on the barrel was $180.00 and WITH the Cutts it sold for $200.00.
It effectively doubled the price.
The Tommy gun was never a commercial success because of the fact of the price, even without the obnoxious tax. As you say a new gun was maybe $30.00. Plus the fact that the gun chewed through ammo like crazy; most people were pretty happy with a good lever action, bolt gun, pump shotgun, or even a semiauto rifle which were beginning to show up on the market. Few people wanted to pay that grand sum for a heavy, clunky gun that would be also expensive to feed.
It was really WW2 and the military's need for a submachinegun that saved the Thompson from the ash-heap of history.

BullfrogKen
August 30, 2014, 01:20 AM
Yup, it's the only tax I know that a government hasn't raised.

Trent
August 30, 2014, 03:37 AM
Ok everyone shut up before someone gets a "bright idea" to raise more taxes on us. :)

MistWolf
August 30, 2014, 11:13 AM
There has already been plenty of talk of raising the tax and yes, the statists would love to price firearms ownership out of reach of the average citizen

Warp
August 30, 2014, 11:23 AM
Ok everyone shut up before someone gets a "bright idea" to raise more taxes on us. :)

Unlikely to happen

Louca
August 30, 2014, 10:31 PM
Inflation isn't a very good marker.
Actually, the consumer price index (from which he got his inflated price) is really a pretty good indicator since it takes more than one thing into account when considering relative cost burden or buying power. I would rely on it.

Theohazard
August 30, 2014, 11:14 PM
For many people just getting into Title II firearms, $200 seems like an awful lot. But just point out to them how much it was back in 1934, and things change perspective.

mooosie
August 31, 2014, 12:18 PM
How would you feel about a tax to go to church or to speak or to exercise any other right

AWorthyOpponent
September 1, 2014, 11:55 AM
The tax shouldn't be there to begin with, but that is another thread...

In 2013, the relative value of $200.00 from 1934 ranges from $2,760.00 to $50,200.00.

A simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is $3,480.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying $200 by the percentage increase in the CPI from 1934 to 2013.

This may not be the best answer.

The best measure of the relative value over time depends on if you are interested in comparing the cost or value of a Commodity , Income or Wealth , or a Project . For more discussion on how to pick the best measure, read the essay "Explaining the Measures of Worth."
If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Commodity in 1934 there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
real price of that commodity is $3,480.00
labor value of that commodity is $8,410.00(using the unskilled wage) or $10,600.00(using production worker compensation)
income value of that commodity is $20,100.00


If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Income or Wealth , in 1934 there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is $3,480.00
economic status value of that income or wealth is $20,100.00
economic power value of that income or wealth is $50,200.00


If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Project in 1934 there are four choices. In 2013 the relative:
historic opportunity cost of that project is $2,760.00
labor cost of that project is $8,410.00(using the unskilled wage) or $10,600.00(using production worker compensation)
economy cost of that project is $50,200.00



Citation
Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2014.

Arizona_Mike
September 2, 2014, 01:52 AM
According to my research it was 3 months average household income (inflation and purchasing power adjusted).

Mike

Ingsoc75
September 2, 2014, 07:56 AM
The $200 tax is the cheap part. Buying a pre 86 registered MG is the $$$ part.

AlexanderA
September 2, 2014, 08:26 AM
Just to add some perspective, I bought my first MG in 1975 for $750. (It was a WW2 Thompson.) At the time, you could buy a nice Springfield rifle for less than $200. So the $200 transfer tax was not totally insignificant. But the hassles of getting the CLEO signature, getting fingerprinted, etc., were more significant. (Trusts for NFA purposes, of course, were unheard of at the time.)

And for further perspective, I sold that Thompson about ten years later for $1,250. I thought I was making a tidy profit.

Money doesn't mean as much today as it did as recently as 30 years ago.

MasterSergeantA
September 3, 2014, 04:37 PM
The tax was designed to keep firearms out of the hands of minorities and poor folks. Handguns were originally included, but they were deleted in favour of "silencers".

WestKentucky
September 3, 2014, 05:01 PM
The tax was designed to double the cost of a military grade weapon on the civilian market. That would be similar to the price of an m4, ak74, or Kriss Vector today. Who knows what that price tag might be if those items were sold openly and legally on the market today. I suspect it would be considerably less for an AK and considerably more on the vector with the m4 in between. Either way the tax would be inflated to a degree but likely not to that magic number of 3480

Jim K
September 3, 2014, 05:43 PM
The original bill sent to Congess by the Roosevelt administration, imposed registration and a transfer tax on ALL firearms and ammunition. It was the brainchild of a raving lunatic named Homer Cummings, who was Attorney General under FDR. (What is it about that office that brings out the lunacy in its holders?) IIRC, here are the figures:

Double or single barrel shotgun - $50
Center fire rifle - $100
Rimfire rifle - $50
Handgun - $200
Machinegun - $1000
Shotgun shells - $.50 each
Rimfire rounds - $1 each
Center fire rifle rounds - $5 each
Center fire pistol round - $20 each

Congress eventually passed essentially what we have today as the FFA in 1934 and the NFA in 1938; the laws were combined and added to in GCA '68.

Jim

Midwest
September 3, 2014, 05:50 PM
Double or single barrel shotgun - $50
Center fire rifle - $100
Rimfire rifle - $50
Handgun - $200
Machinegun - $1000
Shotgun shells - $.50 each
Rimfire rounds - $1 each
Center fire rifle rounds - $5 each
Center fire pistol round - $20 each

If Hillary wins, she will appoint Bloomberg to run the ATF and appoint Feinstein as Attorney General and they will pass these taxes into law.
.

Warp
September 3, 2014, 06:05 PM
If Hillary wins, she will appoint Bloomberg to run the ATF and appoint Feinstein as Attorney General and they will pass these taxes into law.
.

I guess you missed the part where Congress would have to be the ones to do that...or the part where they tried everything they could in early 2013 and failed miserably.

Walkalong
September 3, 2014, 08:23 PM
Indeed, not that some of our friends in Washington wouldn't love to do it though. We must always keep an eye on those rascals.

243winxb
September 3, 2014, 09:00 PM
http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/M16A1%20Carbine/SoldM16A1.jpg Compared to the gun price, the stamp was still a lot in 1979. Sold M16 a while ago. www.photobucket.com/M16A1

Ryanxia
September 4, 2014, 05:20 PM
If I missed it, there was a push to up the NFA tax stamp to $500 I believe last year or the year before. They were citing the fact that it takes them so long to turn applications around as proof that they were so overwhelmed and needed more manpower or some such BS.

plodder
September 5, 2014, 11:20 PM
The $200 tax is the cheap part. Buying a pre 86 registered MG is the $$$ part.
No, the $$$ part is the 4 or 5 additional stamps that will inevitably follow the first!:D

Jim K
September 5, 2014, 11:26 PM
"If Congress won't act, then I will have to." Didn't someone say something like that?

It has been so long since we had a king that we have forgotten why we didn't want one.

Jim

Ironman
September 8, 2014, 09:54 AM
Also just incase some of you don't know. The $200 goes to the national treasury, not the BATFE.

joshk1025
September 8, 2014, 10:17 AM
It's interesting that the NFA is written as a tax, because Congress at the time acknowledged that that was what their powers were limited to. Then 50 years later they passed the Hughes amendment, which doesn't have that grounding, and people haven't challenged their power to do so.

Midwest
September 8, 2014, 11:07 AM
It's interesting that the NFA is written as a tax, because Congress at the time acknowledged that that was what their powers were limited to. Then 50 years later they passed the Hughes amendment, which doesn't have that grounding, and people haven't challenged their power to do so.
True that the NFA was written as a tax. (Or better described as a special category of firearms that requires a special tax.) Then what changed? How was the Hughes Amendment able to pass legal scrutiny in the first place if the NFA is really about a special category of firearms that requires a special tax? I didn't understand why the Hughes amendment wasn't challenged on that basis in the first few years..or was it?
.

TRX
September 14, 2014, 10:33 PM
I got my first NFA in 1983, and I was making about $375/mo. That $200 still hurt.

Nickel Plated
September 15, 2014, 01:37 AM
Who knows what that price tag might be if those items were sold openly and legally on the market today.

Those guns would cost exactly the same as their semi-only counterparts. When you get down to it, there's nothing in the select-fire gun itself that makes it cost any more. 2 or 3 extra parts that would add at most $10 to the price tag. It's the fact that they haven't made any new ones since 1986 and the existing supply is only getting smaller that drives the price up.

Infact if the NFA were repealed, I doubt most manufacturers would even bother making semi-only guns anymore except for the few states that would undoubtedly keep a version of the law on their books. I mean why buy a gun that can shoot ONLY semi-auto when you can buy one that gives you the best of both worlds at the same price?

MikieG
September 16, 2014, 10:42 PM
Part of the 200dollar legislation says that the tax cannot go up. Any and all firearm legislation is illegal as per our constitution and anyone proposing such anti constitutional legislation is to be charged with treason and punished as such. Most rights are understood. The right to bear arms was considered so important that it was expressly written about thereby protecting it.
If you took these laws back in time with their proposers, there would have been treason hangings.
The idea is to eventually make the American people slaves thru taxation and the lack of defense against the masters.

Jim K
September 17, 2014, 12:37 AM
The real reason was that FDR and his minions were scared of a revolution. The gangster era was the excuse, not the reason. They knew what happens to leaders after a revolution, and the idea of revolution was in the air after the depression and access to power by Hitler, Mussolini and other revolutionaries. For all FDR's claim of supporting the common man, he was a child of wealth, and he had no intention of keeping company thugs and state enforcers from getting all the guns they wanted; but he wanted to disarm that "common man" he claimed to love so much, and who really terrified him.

There is already a drumbeat of rising hysteria about Jihadists in our midst, and a lot of it is coming from the same old gun control gang that worked up scares over guns in the hands of blacks, Mafia hit men, female assassins, radical "Commies", right-wing extremists, etc. No matter what the threat, real or invented, the answer from the anti-gun gangsters is always the same - ban guns. They are even using "climate change" to promote gun control, claiming that "coming outbreaks of violence over dwindling food supplies" justify the "need" to ban guns, except, of course, for the police and military.

Jim

AlexanderA
September 17, 2014, 11:40 AM
Any and all firearm legislation is illegal as per our constitution and anyone proposing such anti constitutional legislation is to be charged with treason and punished as such. Most rights are understood. The right to bear arms was considered so important that it was expressly written about thereby protecting it.
If you took these laws back in time with their proposers, there would have been treason hangings.
The idea is to eventually make the American people slaves thru taxation and the lack of defense against the masters.

Please. Let's not get carried away with overblown rhetoric. The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is, and the latest pronouncements on guns by the Supreme Court (Heller, etc.) say that "reasonable restrictions" (especially on things like machine guns) are OK. The questions that remain to be resolved are the exact boundaries of those "reasonable restrictions."

Besides that, "treason" is defined in the Constitution as consisting only in levying war against the United States, or in giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Political acts (such as advocating for gun control) are specifically not included in treason. (Otherwise, we'd have political witch hunts that would tear the country apart.)

Theohazard
September 17, 2014, 01:49 PM
Part of the 200dollar legislation says that the tax cannot go up. Any and all firearm legislation is illegal as per our constitution and anyone proposing such anti constitutional legislation is to be charged with treason and punished as such. Most rights are understood. The right to bear arms was considered so important that it was expressly written about thereby protecting it.
If you took these laws back in time with their proposers, there would have been treason hangings.
The idea is to eventually make the American people slaves thru taxation and the lack of defense against the masters.
I'm with AlexanderA on this. Uninformed statements like this one just show that you don't understand how the constitution works. Besides, over-the-top extremist political rhetoric like this just makes gun owners look like ignorant conspiracy theorists, and it sure won't help bring people in the middle to our side.

Any and all firearm legislation is illegal as per our constitution
MikieG, I suggest you read this sticky about the Constitution (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=700582).

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