Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by DHJenkins, Aug 29, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,022
    Location:
    South Texas
    $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.
     
  2. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,908
    Location:
    Virginia
    Let's hope they don't get the idea to adjust it for inflation
     
  3. MErl

    MErl Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,283
    Yep, it was meant to tax the items into oblivion. We should consider ourselves lucky (maybe) that it has not been revised.
     
  4. vamo

    vamo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    737
    Location:
    Missouri
    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.
     
  5. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    5,498
    Location:
    Arkansas
    They're scared to touch the NFA any tampering with it could result in an unwelcome rider.
     
  6. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,541
    Location:
    Georgia
    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.
     
  7. Mr.510

    Mr.510 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    485
    Location:
    Belfair Washington
    For grins I put $200 in 1934 dollars into an inflation calculator and it says that's $3,555.97 in 2014 dollars.
     
  8. happygeek

    happygeek Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,527
    Location:
    OCONUS
    +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.
     
  9. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,022
    Location:
    South Texas
    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.
     
  10. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,505
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    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.
     
  11. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    14,886
    Location:
    Lewisberry, PA
    Yup, it's the only tax I know that a government hasn't raised.
     
  12. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    17,590
    Location:
    Illinois
    Ok everyone shut up before someone gets a "bright idea" to raise more taxes on us. :)
     
  13. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,229
    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
     
  14. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,541
    Location:
    Georgia
    Unlikely to happen
     
  15. Louca

    Louca Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    Michigan
    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.
     
  16. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,115
    Location:
    Western WA
    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.
     
  17. mooosie

    mooosie Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    86
    How would you feel about a tax to go to church or to speak or to exercise any other right
     
  18. AWorthyOpponent

    AWorthyOpponent Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    421
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    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.
     
  19. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    3,283
    According to my research it was 3 months average household income (inflation and purchasing power adjusted).

    Mike
     
  20. Ingsoc75

    Ingsoc75 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    The $200 tax is the cheap part. Buying a pre 86 registered MG is the $$$ part.
     
  21. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,961
    Location:
    Virginia
    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.
     
  22. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    Arizona Territory
    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".
     
  23. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,769
    Location:
    Middle Tn
    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
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,613
    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
     
  25. Midwest

    Midwest Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location:
    Kentucky
    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.
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page