This story comes from Texas. And it’s politically incorrect. Nothing gets liberal ire up like proposing to put more weapons in the hands of citizens. And that is exactly what some in Texas want to do. Rep. Jeff Leach (R) wants to give all Texans a sales tax break on the purchase of firearms and ammunition. Leach wants to make Texas Independence Day a day in which you can purchase firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies sans sales tax. Texas Independence Day is March 2 (and yes, I know that despite the headline, the Alamo fell on March 6).
The sales tax holiday would apply to shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, other handguns, cleaning supplies, gun cases, gun safes, optics, ammunition, archery equipment, hunting stands, blinds, and decoys. Basically, it will apply to everything Mayor Bloomberg finds repulsive. In fact, Leach says his motivation is to fight the federal government’s attempts to infringe on our Second Amendment rights.”
The gun manufacturers love the idea of a sales tax holiday. And the NRA is way on board. Gun control groups think anyone who owns or wants to buy a gun are nuts. I must confess that I am a member of the NRA and an avid supporter, albeit no fanatic, of the Second Amendment. But sales tax holidays for guns, like sales tax holidays for everything else, are terrible tax policy. They are political gimmicks – and nothing more.
Sales tax holidays are touted as a means for poor working families to be able to shop for back-to-school items for little Jane and Johnny. And that purpose elicits some sympathy. After all, we wouldn't want the little ones going back to school in last year's clothes or their older siblings' hand-me-downs. But now, in Texas, sales tax holidays would be used to help folks purchase a new Smith & Wesson 357 magnum.
Leach says he wants to protect the Second Amendment. Personally, as I have said before, I'd like to see someone sponsor a bill to celebrate the 21st Amendment by eliminating all taxes on booze (and maybe cigarettes, because a lot of people smoke when they drink). I would rather see Leach designate some random day Second Amendment Celebration Day and forgo screwing around with the tax laws.
South Carolina and Louisiana have had gun sales tax holidays. And about a dozen states have general sales tax holidays. In all cases, they are lauded as an effective way to spur economic development and growth. The idea is the people will shop more. That is ridiculous.
All sales tax holidays do is change the timing of purchases, not the overall amount. This is true for guns. If you have the money to buy one Desert Eagle 44 magnum semiautomatic for $1,600, will you buy two or three because of the holiday? Even if you're getting ready for the zombie apocalypse, there are probably some limits on how many guns you can buy.