SPECIAL TAXES ON GUNS, AMMUNITION, AND GUN SHOWS
PENNSYLVANIA FIREARMS SURCHARGE....January 10, 2013
Pennsylvania imposes a $3 sales tax surcharge on firearms subject to the sales tax and deposits the revenue in the Firearms Instant Record Check Fund (Pa Stat. Ann. 18 § 6111.2). The fund covers the cost of running the state's instant check system, which provides firearm dealers and county sheriffs information about whether an individual is eligible to acquire a firearm or a license to carry one.
In addition, the legislature has considered proposals establishing similar funding mechanisms. In 2009, it considered a bill adding a 1% sales tax on firearm sales and depositing the revenue in the Violence Reduction Fund, which the bill created. The fund would have been used by the state police to help local police departments run violence reduction programs (HB 1545). In 2008, the legislature considered requiring manufacturers to encode ammunition and imposing a 5¢ per round tax on the retail sale of such ammunition (HB 2228). The revenue from the tax would have been deposited in the Encoded Ammunition Database, which the bill created.