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Monday, July 5, 2010

Gun Intimidation Forces Wyoming Sales Tax Suspension

This is not how guns and democracy are supposed to go together: yahoos at Wyoming gun shows have caused the Wyoming Department of Revenue to suspend tax collections at gun shows:

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.


  1. When I read this story I got real upset because it gives the reasonable and logical gun owners a bad rap. Problem is, with all the crazies doing crazy things, people in my position are used to getting a bad rap.

    Sure, the 2nd amendment gives people the right to bear arms, but now we're extending that to tax exemptions?

    If this were a special tax on firearms, I'd say that tax isn't fair and it needs to change. However, in this case, the Department of Revenue is just trying to collect the standard 5% sales tax. Wyoming law is clear in this matter that the tax must be collected and paid to the state.

    Maybe the legislature will change the law next session. We already don't pay taxes on goceries, why not extend that to guns?

    I hear the marketing now, "Come to Wyoming, where your guns and groceries are tax free!"

  2. Cory, imagine if you will that this tax protest was being conducted by Black and Latino Americans and a group of long haired Irish leftist political radicals (you know who you are) at gun shows at convention centers in the inner cities of Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

    Now imagine these same protesters showing up armed at protest rallies to demonstrate their right to keep and bear arms, all the while using this same 2nd Amendment argument to avoid paying sales tax on guns.

    What would the good citizens of Wyoming and their tax collectors think of that?

    Come on, boys. Get real here. Remember, sauce for the goose — sauce for the gander. Be careful what you wish for.

  3. Questions that can get you banned7/06/2010 9:28 AM

    "I wouldn't use threats of gun violence to get my way;"

    Cory, Where was the violent threats?

    And how does banning those who ask you questions you don't want to answer fit free speech?

    Steve Sibson

  4. Ask the Wyoming tax chief, Steve. [And stop whining. You're unbanned... for now.]

  5. Exposing false accusers7/06/2010 2:59 PM

    Cory is making stuff up again. If there were "gun threats", then there would have been criminal charges. This is from Cory's link:

    Wise said he was sitting at the front desk during the April gun show at Pine Bluffs when a participant got into a confrontation with a state sales tax representative. The tax agent called for backup from the Pine Bluffs Police Department.

    Wise said the police officer intervened, the tax agent left and no charges were filed. He said he thought both men had "short fuses."

    Steve Sibson

  6. Because short fuses and loaded guns go so well together Steve? Grave yards are filled with people that put those two together...

  7. Morality, not tyranny, is the answer7/07/2010 6:11 AM

    Graves yards were not big enough in those contries that allowed leaders like Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

    Steve Sibson


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