POLITICS
02/27/2013 03:02 pm ET Updated Feb 28, 2013

Texas Bill Would Establish Tax Holiday For Guns and Ammunition

A lawmaker in Texas has introduced a bill that would enact a tax holiday for guns, ammunition and hunting supplies for one day of the year.

That day would be March 2: Texas Independence Day.

Republican state Rep. Jeff Leach of Plano, Texas, said in a press release that the Texas Gun Ownership Reinforcement Act, as the bill is called, would make shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, and other handguns exempt from sales tax for a 24 hour period.

The proposed law, which proceeded to the State House's Ways and Means Committee on Monday, would also make ammunition, hunting supplies and other weapons accessories free from the state's sales tax on that day.

For example, at Central Texas Gun Works, a gun store in Austin, Texas, a Ruger SR-556 (a type of AR-15 semi-automatic rifle) goes for $1,679, meaning buyers would save more than $138 in sales tax if they bought one on March 2.

Michael Cargill, the owner of the store, told The Huffington Post that a tax holiday for guns would be "awesome" and that his sales would "be great."

"We need to relieve the stress on the citizens as it is, because prices have increased," he said during a telephone interview Wednesday. "So let's give 'em a little break from taxes. I don't think that's gonna hurt anyone."

In his statement, Leach said the bill would benefit taxpayers and "spur economic growth."

"Texas must take the lead in the fight against the federal government's attempts to infringe on our Second Amendment Rights," he said in the statement.

But some are saying the bill is just for show and has little chance of passing.

Mark P. Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston, told McClatchy DC that the legislation was "symbolic" because it "underscore[s] the linkage between Second Amendment rights and the ability of citizens to protect themselves from tyranny." But Jones said the bill's chances of becoming law are "remote."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Texas is not the first state to toy with the idea.

South Carolina, for example, offered a Second Amendment sales tax holiday for three years in a row starting in 2008 but scrapped the program later at least in part because of lost revenue, which some estimates put as high as $300,000 a year.

In Texas, the lost revenue from such an initiative might further endanger an already fragile fiscal situation.

Although the state currently has an almost $9 billion surplus, the budget deficit as recently as last year stood at $27 billion, according to Reuters, a shortfall that forced lawmakers to cut Medicaid and public education by billions of dollars.

(h/t McClatchy DC)

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