TTB Press Release


For Immediate Release
April 15, 2003

To download a PDF file, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed
on your system.  To download a free copy of Adobe Reader, click here.

Favorable Court Decision on Firearms Excise Tax

In Browing Arms v. United States, No. 97-252T (Court of Federal Claims April 7, 2003), the Court upheld the TTB decision that the taxpayer was not enittled to a refund of the firearms excise tax. The plaintiff, a manufacturer of firearms, brought this action for the refund of over $2.8 million in excise taxes allegedly overpaid. The case raised two legal issues: (1) Whether the plaintiff had passed the tax burden through to its purchasers, and (2) whether certain firearms components were "accessories" and therefore not subject to the excise tax imposed at Section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. On April 7, 2003, the Court filed an opinion in which it held that the plaintiff had in fact passed the tax burden at issue through to its purchasers. The plaintiff therefore did not have standing to seek a refund of the taxes at issue. The Court dismissed the plaintiff's complaint (without reaching the substantive issue whether the items at issue were taxable), and directed that the Clerk enter judgment in favor of the United States. The opinion is available at: