Dan Noble, director of the department's excise tax division, said Friday that an incident at a gun show triggered the decision.
He added, however, that resistance from gun show sponsors and participants has been a recurring problem statewide.
"I have 10 field reps throughout the state, and every one of them has experienced some animosity," he said. "Folks are nervous anyway because there are guns there. I don't want to put my people at risk" [Joan Barron, "State Suspends Tax at Gun Shows," Casper Star-Tribune, 2010.07.04].
I stand corrected: I guess guns can check the government. Unfortunately, this check isn't on some previously untrammeled tyranny, but a perfectly lawful tax, the very sort of sales tax that some of my conservative friends think is the fairest tax of all.
The gun goonies cry that taxing their gun show sales infringes on their Second Amendment rights. If that's the case, then taxing my purchases of paper, pens, computers, and Internet service infringes on my First Amendment rights. Of course, even if I thought that argument might fly, I wouldn't use threats of gun violence to get my way; I'd just write letters to Secretary Kinsman and Senator Olson.
Democracy at the point of a gun isn't democracy. Wyoming gun nuts, man up, pay your taxes. And try settling your political differences without relying on the threat of force.
Update 12:06 CDT: conceivably related: reported assaults and threats against U.S. Census workers so far this year are more than double the number of such incidents in 2000.