Tax-free Weekend is no longer specifically for back-to-school shopping. A new approved bill allows the purchase of guns and hunting gear without sales tax.
The Texas Senate approved a recent bill known as The Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday Act on Thursday, which allows shoppers to purchase firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies without having to pay sales tax during the last weekend in April.
The Senate voted 21-10 in favor of providing a tax-free weekend for firearms and hunting supplies. Once approved by the House, Senate Bill 228 will give Texans the opportunity to shop for all of their hunting and self-defense needs, from ammunition to firearms and deer stands, before hunting season starts in September.
Currently, the state designates one weekend annually in which school supplies and some house-hold appliances can be purchased without the addition of sales tax. The plan by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, was originally proposed because similar tax-free holidays already exist in bordering states, which puts firearms retailers and sporting goods outlets at a disadvantage. This ultimately motivates potential Texan customers to visit Louisiana during their tax-free weekend event because they can get the same items for cheaper. Creighton wants to keep the business within state lines and also encourage hunting in the state.
“Since 2009, retailers in east and southeast Texas have been at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to their Louisiana counterparts,” Creighton said. “Providing this sales tax break prior to the start of hunting season will be an economic driver for small businesses and will provide our hunters much deserved savings. I am pleased to encourage and promote gunmanship and to improve opportunities for all Texans to enjoy their Second Amendment rights.”
According to the bill, Texans could buy the following items tax free that weekend: firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, firearm cleaning supplies, hunting blinds and stands, hunting optics, hunting safety equipment and hunting decoys.
Though some have their reservations about the passing of this bill, the National Rifle Association is fully supporting the passing of this bill.
“This bill supports lawful gun ownership and encourages Texas sportsmen and their families to spend their money here at home,” said Tara Mica, state liaison for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.
According to a recent estimate from the Legislative Budget Board, Texas would lose approximately $3.6 million per year in tax revenue following the passing of this bill.