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A Tax-Free Day for Buying Guns Could Become an Actual Thing in Texas

If SB 133 gets through the state legislature, you might get to buy this little beauty tax-free, despite the fact that we're not entirely sure what you would hunt with a Glock.
If SB 133 gets through the state legislature, you might get to buy this little beauty tax-free, despite the fact that we're not entirely sure what you would hunt with a Glock.
Photo by Rob Bixby.

Just as it does for school kids and their parents, the Texas legislature should give gun owners a  "Second Amendment sales tax holiday" the weekend before hunting season starts.

Seriously.

This idea is brought to us via Senate Bill 133, filed by state Senator Brandon Creighton, a Conroe Republican. SB 133 proposes to temporarily exempt all firearms and hunting supplies from sales taxes beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first Saturday of the last full weekend in August and ending midnight on Sunday.

During that time, people would be able to purchase everything that qualifies as "hunting supplies," including ammunition, archery equipment, hunting blinds and stands, hunting decoys, gun-cleaning supplies, gun cases and safes, hunting optics, and hunting safety equipment.

The Texas State Rifle Association has declared a number of other bills already filed in the Lege to be "pro-Second Amendment" — including a couple that propose to do away with gun licensing fees entirely, and one bill that would allow anyone who is not specifically "prohibited by law" from possessing a gun to carry one without any license at all — but SB 133 gets credit for being the most entertaining, hands down.

If SB 133 makes it through the Lege, just imagine what Tax-Free Buy Your Guns weekend is going to look like as everyone rushes to stores to get his or her gear, sans tax, before hunting season opens up.

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Creighton tried to get this same bill through the Lege in 2015. He argued that Louisiana passed a similar law in 2009 and has been using the tax-free weekend to undercut Texas sellers ever since, according to NBC. But while the bill made it through the Senate, it never made it through the House, possibly because legislative analysis found the bill would cost the state $11 million over the course of two years.

Considering that the state budget is already likely to be tight for the next two years this time around, as we've recently noted, state officials may once again balk at the idea of giving away even more sales tax dollars.

If the bill does manage to become law, though, let's hope it never crosses paths with Tax Free Weekend back-to-school shopping. Parking will be a nightmare, for one thing.

Plus, it seems likely there will be an even higher chance a whole lot of the people trying to get tax-free deals on both school clothes and hunting gear may be armed. What could possibly go wrong, right?

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