Legislation being proposed in Missouri would establish a sales tax holiday for new gun purchases.
The pre-filed bill is sponsored by Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa. He has not yet responded to requests by St. Louis Public Radio for an interview, but he issued a brief written statement on Monday.
"I think it is imperative that every citizen, if they choose and are eligible, is prepared to defend themselves and their families if the need arise," Taylor said. "Purchasing a firearm is expensive, and I am trying to help ensure that it is more affordable to everyone who wants to purchase a firearm."
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, strongly opposes the measure.
"There has been no outcry for this," Newman said. "It actually puts a damper on local communities who depend on sales tax revenues, with no thought to how that would affect the communities that would be getting obviously less sales taxes."
Newman also says it would reduce much-needed revenue for public schools and health care.
If it becomes law, the gun sales tax holiday would take place each year, starting in 2017, on the Saturday following the Fourth of July. It would apply to both the state sales tax and to those from local communities.
Any city or town that does not want to participate would have to pass a local opt-out ordinance.
The bill is one of several proposals being floated by Republican lawmakers in 2016, including one that would lift the ban on concealed firearms on college campuses.
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