The state Senate on Thursday gave the green light to a proposal to designate one weekend a year when Texas shoppers would not have to pay sales tax on guns.
Senate Bill 228 by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, would create a sales tax holiday for firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies during the last weekend in August. Texas already has tax holidays for two other kinds of products: school supplies and energy-efficient appliances.
The proposed tax break — which Creighton calls a Second Amendment tax holiday weekend — would come one week ahead of hunting season and one week before a similar weekend in Louisiana. Texas would lose $3.6 million per year in tax revenue under the proposed legislation, according to an estimate from the Legislative Budget Board.
"Since 2009, retailers in east and southeast Texas have been at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to their Louisiana counterparts," Creighton said in a statement. "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."
Mississippi and South Carolina also have similar tax holidays for guns, according to the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, which supports the Texas proposal.
“This bill supports lawful gun ownership and encourages Texas sportsmen and their families to spend their money here at home," Tara Mica, state liaison for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.
The measure, which was approved by the Senate on a vote of 21-10, now heads to the House.