Missouri lawmaker proposes tax holiday on gun purchases

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri lawmaker says more people would be able to buy firearms to protect their families if they didn't have to pay taxes on them.

Rep. Jered Taylor, a Nixa Republican, has proposed a bill that makes gun purchases tax-free on the Saturday after Fourth of July each year, the Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/1J8gX56 ) reported. It would apply to only guns and not ammunition.

"We've seen some recent mass shootings and there are Missourians who desire to protect their families if the need arises and may not be able to afford it, so I think as a legislature we should try to do everything we can to make sure it more affordable if they are law abiding and choose to do so," Taylor said.

He also has pre-filed the companion bill to legislation Sen. Bob Dixon, a Springfield Republican, submitted earlier this month that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses in Missouri. Republican Sen. Brian Munzlinger of Williamston has proposed similar legislation.

Rep. Stacey Newman, a St. Louis Democrat, called the tax holiday bill ill-conceived because guns make people less safe, not more. She also scoffed at the notion that allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campuses would make them safer in the event of a mass shooting.

The eight hours of firearms training required for concealed carry permits is nowhere near enough training to prepare someone to respond to an active shooter situation, she said.

"It's laughable. It's completely laughable," Newman said.

The tax holiday bill contains a provision that would allow counties and cities to opt out by passing an ordinance. But even if municipalities opt out, the tax holiday would still apply to the state sales tax, Taylor said.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said he would like to see civilians be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campuses and elsewhere. While he acknowledged that the training required to carry a concealed weapon isn't enough to allow a person to respond in an active shooter situation, he added that gun owners should seek out continued training.

"The more people that have a weapon, that have taken the time to learn how to use it and learn what their rights are and where their liability lands when they do use, the better off we are as a society," he said.

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