(The Center Square) — A Georgia Democrat has pre-filed the Safe Storage Tax Credit Act, which incentivizes purchasing firearm-safe storage devices.
State Rep. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, has filed House Bill 855, the Safe Storage Tax Credit Act. It would provide a tax credit for certain eligible expenses incurred for firearm safes starting Jan. 1, 2025, up to $300.
It also includes a provision capping the total tax credits at $5 million annually. Georgians would receive credits on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Per the CDC, securing firearms is protective against unintentional gun injuries and deaths among kids and teens, underscoring the importance of safe storage,” Au said on X, previously known as Twitter.
“You own a gun to keep your kids safe,” the lawmaker added. “Make sure to also keep your kids safe from your gun.”
Collen Clark, a lawyer and founder of Schmidt & Clark LLP, said Georgia ranks among the states with the highest firearm deaths, adding that nearly 40% of Georgia households with children have at least one firearm. He said gun violence costs Georgia $3.8 billion per year or $368 per resident.
“The bill could save taxpayers money in the long run by preventing costly lawsuits, medical bills, and law enforcement expenses that result from gun violence,” Clark told The Center Square via email.
“The bill could encourage more responsible and safe gun ownership by providing a financial incentive for gun owners to secure their firearms and prevent unauthorized access,” Clark added. “The bill could save lives and prevent injuries by reducing the likelihood of accidental shootings, suicides, and thefts involving firearms, especially among children and teens, who are more vulnerable and curious about guns.”
Clark disagreed with arguments that the measure might infringe on Georgians’ Second Amendment rights or is ineffective or unnecessary.
“First of all, this bill does not restrict or ban gun ownership but rather provides an incentive for responsible gun ownership,” Clark said. “Gun owners would still have the right to keep and bear arms, but they would also have the opportunity to get a tax credit for securing their firearms.
“Second, this bill is not ineffective or unnecessary, but rather based on evidence and common sense,” Clark added. “Studies have shown that safe storage practices can reduce the risk of unintentional shootings, suicides, and homicides by firearms, especially among children and teens. Moreover, safe storage equipment can prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, such as burglars, terrorists, or extremists.”