Florida Subsidizes Gun Makers while Cutting Spending on Mental Health and School Safety
Lawmakers in Florida consider tax breaks for gun manufacturers a higher priority than funding for mental health or school safety.
Last year, the legislature eliminated $1.8 million from school safety programs, while Governor Rick Scott vetoed $5.7 million for mental health services.
But lawmakers made sure $10 million in taxpayer money was available to help weapons makers, as well as Hollywood production companies and video game designers that produce violent entertainment.
The state government also made it easier and cheaper to buy high-powered weapons, by cutting the cost of obtaining a weapons license by $5.
Florida ranks 48th in per capita mental health funding. (Only Idaho and Texas spend less.)
Some of the gun manufacturers that have benefitted from tax incentives include Colt Manufacturing Co., which enjoyed a $1.6 million deal in December 2011, after it opened a new regional headquarters in Osceola County. Another recipient was Kel Tec CNC, a handgun maker that received nearly $15,000 in state money to train its employees. A third firearms producer, Adams Arms, was given $200,000 for creating 29 jobs in Pasco County.
To Learn More:
Gun Makers Feast On Florida Tax Breaks (by Toluse Olorunnipa, Miami Herald)
Federal Judge Halts Florida Law Prohibiting Doctors from Talking about Guns (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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