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State Taxpayers Subsidize Gun Manufacturers, Violent Video Games

Film District and Incentive and Filmed Entertainment
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, the nation's policymakers are looking for ways to make it harder to get high-powered assault weapons and easier for those who need mental-health treatment to get it.

But Florida's tax code, as Toluse Olorunnipa ofThe Miami Herald reports, is set up to do the opposite. The state tax code and economic incentives offer subsidies to companies that make violent video games, gory movies and high-powered assault weapons.

At the same time, he reports, Florida has cut funding for mental health care and school safety programs, two areas at the forefront of the national gun control debate.

Florida has recently given at least three gun makers tax breaks aimed at creating jobs, Olorunnipa reports.  The largest went to Colt Manufacturing Co., which received a $1.6 million deal in December 2011 for opening a regional headquarters in Osceola County.

The Scott administration refused to answer questions about it the tax deals.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.