June 10, 2024

Connecticut Adjourns and Sin Tax Dies on the Vine

Article Contact: Fred Bird,

Why It Matters: Introduced on February 14, 2024, Connecticut House Bill 5114 (HB 5114) – An Act Establishing an Excise Tax on Ammunition to Provide Funding for Community Gun Violence and Intervention Program Grants, sought to establish an 11% excise tax on ammunition and dedicate funds towards a community gun violence intervention and prevention program.


  • HB 5114, had it passed, would have levied an additional 11% sin tax on Connecticut’s sporting community to fund special interests on the back of law-abiding citizens who are purchasing firearms and ammunition, which are already taxed 10-11% at the manufacturer level.
  • With the Connecticut Legislature adjourning Sine Die on May 8, 2024, the attempt to further tax the Connecticut sporting community died.
  • Arguably, the parties most significantly harmed by this bill would be the recreational shooters who would have been subjected to additional taxes, but all people and wildlife would have been negatively impacted by the loss of conservation dollars. It is widely recognized that recreational target shooters, who per-capita, spend even more money on firearms and ammunition than hunters, are the financial keystone for the American System of Conservation Funding.

On February 14, 2024, Connecticut House Bill 5114 (HB 5114) – An Act Establishing an Excise Tax on Ammunition to Provide Funding for Community Gun Violence and Intervention Program Grants, was introduced. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) took immediate action opposing the bill and submitted testimony encouraging its demise. Connecticut’s sportsmen and women are the backbone of the funding structure for conservation efforts that benefit wildlife and their habitat throughout the state, as well as the citizenry at large, and HB 5114 would have likely resulted in unintended and consequential diminishment of the state’s conservation funding.

The intended purpose of this bill – to fund grants through the community gun violence intervention and prevention program – was being pursued through an avenue that levies a significant tax on law-abiding sportsmen and women who are purchasing products that are already taxed at the manufacturer level (in addition to the typical state and federal sales tax) to provide the conservation funding necessary for the work of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Fish and Wildlife, from which all citizens of the state benefit. The American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF) distributes the funds collected through this program that are the lifeblood of state fish and wildlife agencies, including DEEP Fish and Wildlife. These critical conservation dollars fund a variety of efforts including enhanced fish and wildlife habitat and populations, recreational access to public and private lands, shooting ranges and boat access facilities, wetlands protection and its associated water filtration and flood retention functions, and improved soil and water conservation – all which benefit the public at large, not just sportsmen and women. There is no question that conservation funding in this nation needs immediate support; imposing an additional sin tax and dis-incentivizing spending on the very items whose sales drives conservation funding is a step in the wrong direction.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is pleased that HB 5114’s negative impacts on the sporting community of the Nutmeg State were halted. CSF will continue to remain vigilant for future legislation bearing all the same hallmarks of this legislation that has now become a perennial tactic employed by those hostile to firearms ownership in the Connecticut Legislature.

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