When Georgia passed constitutional carry, it seemed like the pinnacle of pro-gun efforts. Sure, there’s the whole nullification thing, which the state is considering right now, but there’s questions as to whether there’s any way to make that stand up in a court of law.
Constitutional carry was big and was probably as big as it could get, or some might have thought.
Yet then a bill was introduced to create a sales tax holiday for guns and gun-related items. It was a novel idea, but did it have any support?
Well, it sure looks like it does.
A majority of Georgia’s senators want to let people buy guns, ammunition and gun safes without paying sales tax for five days each fall, while some House members are considering a narrower tax break for only gun safety devices.
Republicans favor both approaches, partly in an election-year nod to gun owners, but Democrats favor only tax breaks for safety devices.
The Senate voted 30-22 on Tuesday to approve Senate Bill 344, sending it to the House for more debate. Sen. Jason Anavitarte, the Dallas Republican who is sponsoring the measure, says the tax break would promote hunting and the control of Georgia’s deer population. The tax holiday would last for five days in October just before the beginning of deer hunting season.
“We hope to expand the base of hunters and increase the tax revenue devoted to conservation,” Anavitarte said.
Of course, not everyone is thrilled.
What else is new?
It seems that Georgia Democrats are less than thrilled.
But Democrats said they don’t believe that Republicans are just interested in promoting hunting, noting that in committee GOP members rejected an amendment to limit the tax break to hunting rifles. They said the measure would encourage more guns and more violence.
“Instead of looking out for children and families, we’re looking out for gun manufacturers,” said Sen. Jason Esteves, an Atlanta Democrat. “You want to pander to politics that at the end of the day do not help everyday Georgians.”
The problem is that they’re once again trying to equate lawful gun sales with violent crime. That’s not how it works.
We know from repeated studies that the vast majority of criminals don’t buy their guns at gun stores. Hell, most of them can’t buy guns at stores. They can’t pass the background check.
As a result, they typically turn to the black market in some manner to supply them with firearms.
So this idea that this bill will “encourage…more violence” is complete and utter nonsense.
Oh, and how do you restrict it to just hunting rifles? An AR-10 works well for deer and an AR-15 is great for coyotes. Plus, a lot of people hunt with handguns as well, so how do you just keep it to hunting weapons?
Or are you going to dictate precisely what guns people can hunt with?
Frankly, I’d be shocked if any of these anti-gunners can tell a tree stand from a TV stand.
Now, will this help gun manufacturers? Maybe to some degree.
But it’ll do more to help local gun stores in the state. It’ll sell a lot of gun safes as well as a good safe isn’t exactly cheap. Knocking off the sale tax can make it much more affordable and thus encourage people to buy one.
And yes, it’s like to make it easier for people to get hunting gear and take up a time-honored pastime that’s not thriving as well as it could be, thus reducing the funding for conservation programs paid for through hunting license fees.
How is that a bad thing?
Then again, Georgia anti-gunners are like anti-gunners anywhere else. They simply think that guns should be pushed as far away from the mainstream as possible and pretend that hunting is the only acceptable use for a firearm.
Until they get sick of hunting and go after that as well.