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Texas: Sales Tax Holiday Gets Political

  • Feb 28, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Texas: Protecting the Second Amendment Through Sales Tax Holiday.

The Republic of Texas was an independent, sovereign nation that lasted from 1836 to 1846. In the eyes of some, it lives on; its ideals include "[v]igorous defense of our nation and its boundaries, its people, and our constitution and laws, against all enemies, external and internal." Texas Independence Day, which takes place each year on March 2, celebrates such principals and the March 2, 1836, signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Protect the Second Amendment

Recently, a lawmaker in Texas proposed a new way to celebrate Texas Independence Day -- with a sales tax holiday for firearms and hunting supplies. A press release on the Texas House of Representatives website reads:

"Texas State Representative Jeff Leach has taken a substantial step in the fight to protect our Second Amendment rights and to encourage lawful gun ownership, by filing House Bill 1533, The Texas Gun Ownership Reinforcement Act. This legislation establishes Texas Independence Day (March 2) as a tax-free holiday, exempting individuals' purchase of firearms and hunting supplies in the State of Texas from sales tax."

According to Rep. Leach, "Texas must take the lead in the fight against the federal government's attempts to infringe on our Second Amendment Rights. … As we fight against the federal government's overreach, there is no more appropriate day to instate this tax-free holiday than on Texas Independence Day."

Joint Author Representative and Speaker Pro Tem Dennis Bonnen (R) echoed that sentiment: "Given that our federal government is unrelenting in their goal to strip our constitutional right to bear arms, I am honored to take a stand with my colleague… toward the passage of this legislature to remind federal elected leaders and taxpaying citizens that our Second Amendment rights are fully recognized and supported in the great State of Texas."

H.B. No. 1533 reads:

"An act relating to an exemption from the sales tax for firearms and hunting supplies for a limited period. …

The sale of a firearm or hunting supplies is exempted from the taxes imposed by this chapter if the sale takes place during a period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on March 2 and ending at 12 midnight on the same day."

Hunting supplies are defined as "ammunition, archery equipment, hunting blinds and stands, hunting decoys, firearm cleaning supplies, gun cases and gun safes, and hunting optics."

Some Crazy Bill

Not everyone thinks H.B. 1533 is a good idea. Marsha McCartney, a gun control advocate, mused, "I sometimes wonder if they just sit around late at night and try to think of some crazy bill … . Maybe someone said, 'Hey, Texas has so much money, let's give these people a tax break.'" She was referring to the fact that Texas has an almost $9 billion surplus.

As of this writing, the bill has only been introduced. Since the Texas Senate is adjourned until Monday, March 4, sales of firearms or hunting supplies will still be subject to sales tax on Texas Independence Day 2013.

Louisiana typically offers a sales tax holiday for firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies each September. Read about sales tax holidays in other states.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.