Gun dealers and gunsmiths in Dunedin could be expecting a refund on city business taxes in the near future but how much will depend on the city commission.
As a result of a new state law that took effect Oct. 1, municipal officials were subject to heavy fines if not forced removal from office if they tried to enforce local ordinances on firearms.
The new state law is similar to a state law that was already on the books, per the St. Petersburg Times, but that law, first enacted in 1987, did not include fines for municipalities enforcing local gun laws.
For some years, Dunedin has charged firearms dealers and gunsmiths $150 and $45, respectively, in business taxes each year. Dunedin city attorney Tom Trask has determined these taxes were potentially in violation of the state law.
Commissioner David Carson believes the gun dealers and gunsmiths deserve full refunds if they can show documentation of past paid taxes.
"I know you said we're only legally liable for four years and that's all they could basically sue for. But I think there's a bigger question here of... morals," Carson is quoted in the Times.
There is some debate how much can be refunded. Trask sent a memo to city officials referencing a Florida Attorney General's opinion that if the business taxes were the same as all businesses, though, per the Times, city officials have gone on record believing the city charged the gun dealer and gunsmiths a higher rate.
The debate on how much the gun dealers and gunsmiths will be reimbursed is scheduled to be debated at the next city commission meeting Oct. 20.