According to a new proposed bill, firearms purchases in Georgia could be exempt from taxes for a limited period each year. The bill is titled “Senate Bill 344” and could change the way guns are purchased in the state.
It proposes that Georgians will be able to buy guns, ammunition, and other firearms accessories completely tax-free for five days from the second Friday in October every year.
On February 6th, the Senate voted on this bill, ending with a controversial 30-22 vote. Many Republicans support this bill and believe it is a great idea. Senator Jason Anavitarte, a Republican, supports this bill wholeheartedly.
He said they designed the bill to “encourage hunting, conservation, and tourism” in Georgia. “By carving out a small window of this tax revenue, we hope to expand the base of hunters and increase the overall tax revenue dedicated to conservation,” Anavitarte said.
His main point comes from the region’s lack of natural predators for deer. Therefore, they need these hunters to keep their population in check. It will also keep their numbers “at a healthy level and preventing the herd from destroying ag crop and reducing accidents with motorists.”
However, some people do not see the need for this bill and oppose it strongly. Atlanta Democrat Sen. Jason Esteves believes the tax break doesn’t favor the Georgia residents. Instead, it favors gun manufacturers only.
In a statement to The Associated Press, he said, “Instead of looking out for children and families, we’re looking out for gun manufacturers. You want to pander to politics that, at the end of the day, do not help everyday Georgians.”
In a similar sense, Georgians who lost loved ones to gun violence are against this bill. A woman, Aaliyah String, who lost her husband in 2022 to gun violence, spoke to Atlanta News First regarding the proposed bill. The proposal is “a slap in the face to people like myself, to all the other families who’ve lost someone to gun violence.”
On the contrary, Anavitarte believes this bill does not put guns into the hands of dangerous people. Therefore, Georgians should be safe by his logic as he doesn’t think the sales tax is a strong factor in criminals’ minds.
“If you’re a criminal, if you’re an outlaw, if you’re an unlawful weapons carrier, if you’re in a gang or trying to basically traffic guns through this state, I really don’t think you care about the sales tax on an item. And you’re not paying sales tax in this state,” he said.
As the bill has passed through the Senate, it will proceed to the House for another vote. If they get a successful majority vote, they will send it to the state governor to sign it into law.
The public is torn about this one, and people can’t tell how exactly it will play out yet. However, gun owners and hunters are particularly happy and optimistic that they will get this tax reduction.
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