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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions - S. 2966

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Location: Washington, DC


STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

By Mr. CRAIG (for himself, Mr. DASCHLE, and Mr. SCHUMER):

S. 2966. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a nonrefundable tax credit against income tax for individuals who purchase a residential safe storage device for the safe storage of firearms; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I rise to introduce the Child Safety and Home Protection Act of 2004, to provide a limited tax credit for individuals who purchase a gun safe to store firearms in their homes. Under this legislation, taxpayers would receive a 25 percent credit up to $250 for the cost of purchasing, shipping, and installing a gun safe.

We have seen passionate debates in the Senate on political issues involving guns, but there is no dispute about the importance of preventing firearms accidents and theft. We all want to make sure guns do not fall into the hands of people who would mishandle them and cause accidental harm, or who intend to abuse them for criminal purposes. Responsible gun owners share those concerns and take safety issues seriously.

The firearms industry has responded by offering a variety of devices designed to enhance secure storage and safe use of firearms. Gun safes have demonstrated their effectiveness in stopping unauthorized access to their contents, not only protecting valuable guns but also preventing their accidental or criminal misuse.

With more than 200 million privately-owned firearms in the United States, this Nation clearly has an interest in encouraging safe gun storage. The Child Safety and Home Protection Act of 2004 serves that goal by allowing individuals to keep a little bit of their own hard-earned dollars to make a key investment in gun safety through the purchase and installation of a gun safe.

I say to all my colleagues: If you believe, as I do, that the right to keep and bear arms carries with it a responsibility to use firearms safely and lawfully, I hope you will join me in supporting this important measure to promote secure gun storage.

I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

S. 2966

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "Child Protection and Home Safety Act of 2004".

SEC. 2. CREDIT FOR RESIDENTIAL GUN SAFE PURCHASES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to nonrefundable personal credits) is amended by inserting after section 25B the following new section:

"SEC. 25C. PURCHASE OF RESIDENTIAL GUN SAFES.

"(a) ALLOWANCE OF CREDIT.-In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this
chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to 25 percent of the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer during such taxable year for the purchase of a qualified residential gun safe.

"(b) LIMITATIONS.-

"(1) MAXIMUM CREDIT.-The credit allowed under subsection (a) with respect to any qualified residential gun safe shall not exceed $250.

"(2) CARRYFORWARD OF UNUSED CREDIT.-If the credit allowable under subsection (a) for any taxable year exceeds the limitation imposed by section 26(a) for such taxable year reduced by the sum of the credits allowable under this subpart (other than this section and section 23), such excess shall be carried to the succeeding taxable year and added to the credit allowable under subsection (a) for such taxable year. No credit may be carried forward under this subsection to any taxable year following the third taxable year after the taxable year in which the purchase or purchases are made. For purposes of the preceding sentence, credits shall be treated as used on a first-in first-out basis.

"© QUALIFIED RESIDENTIAL GUN SAFE.-For purposes of this section, the term 'qualified residential gun safe' means any container not intended for the display of firearms which is specifically designed to store or safeguard firearms from unauthorized access and which meets a performance standard for an adequate security level. For purposes of the preceding sentence, compliance with such performance standard must be established by objective testing.

"(d) SPECIAL RULES.-

"(1) DENIAL OF DOUBLE BENEFIT.-No deduction shall be allowed under this chapter with respect to any expense which is taken into account in determining the credit under this section.

"(2) MARRIED COUPLES MUST FILE JOINT RETURN.-If the taxpayer is married at the close of the taxable year, the credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) only if the taxpayer and taxpayer's spouse file a joint return for the taxable year.

"(3) MARITAL STATUS.-Marital status shall be determined in accordance with section 7703.

"(e) ELECTION TO HAVE CREDIT NOT APPLY.-A taxpayer may elect to have this section not apply for any taxable year.

"(f) REGULATIONS.-The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that residential gun safes qualifying for the credit meet design and performance standards sufficient to ensure the provisions of this section are carried out.

"(g) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; EVIDENCE; USE OF INFORMATION.-

"(1) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this section shall be construed-

"(A) as creating a cause of action against any firearms dealer or any other person for any civil liability, or

"(B) as establishing any standard of care.

"(2) EVIDENCE.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, evidence regarding the use or nonuse by a taxpayer of the tax credit under this section shall not be admissible as evidence in any proceeding of any court, agency, board, or other entity for the purposes of establishing liability based on a civil action brought on any theory for harm caused by a product or by negligence, or for purposes of drawing an inference that the taxpayer owns a firearm.

"(3) USE OF INFORMATION.-No database identifying gun owners may be created using information from tax returns on which the credit under this section is claimed.".

(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 6501(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting "25C(e)," before "30(d)(4),".

© CLERICAL AMENDMENT.-The table of sections for subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of chapter I of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 25B the following new item:

"25C. Purchase of residential gun safes.".

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2003.

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