Commentary: No tax breaks to encourage gun sales

This editorial appeared in The State (Columbia, S.C.).

Apparently, we don't have enough guns, or ammunition, in South Carolina.

And we have way too much tax revenue — particularly from the sales tax, which funds the schools.

That's what the Legislature in effect declared last week, when it reinstated a tax holiday for guns and ammunition that the Supreme Court had struck down the previous week, in its latest anti-bobtailing ruling.

As a recap – and an explanation for the many people who weren't aware that this goofy tax break was being considered, much less passed, until gun shops started advertising for it: Last year, lawmakers created a tax holiday for energy-efficient appliances, because they believed it was in the best interest of our state if more people purchased them. And they tacked the tax-free weekend for guns and ammo onto the same bill because ... well, because the gun lobby decided to see just how far it could push lawmakers.

As usual, the answer was as far as it wanted to, because lawmakers are terrified of the NRA.

You don't have to be an anti-gun zealot to see how ridiculous this is. As our anti-tax governor (and many others, from across the political spectrum) has noted, tax holidays of any sort are gimmicks that mask real problems with our tax system and attempt to coerce people into specific purchases under the precise conditions that the Legislature sets out: You will purchase all your school supplies on this weekend; you will purchase your guns on this weekend.

To read the complete editorial, visit The State.