The state of Louisiana is coming off its 3rd-annual 3-day weekend during which all types of firearms, ammunition and hunting gear are exempt from state and local sales taxes, and by all indications, it was once again a resounding success with sportsmen and retailers alike.
In fact, gun dealers and sporting goods stores in the Bayou State report that the first weekend of September has become like a second Christmas for them.
“Last year it beat Christmas,” Robert Morris of House of Cycles in West Monroe told the “News Star” this week. “If the government gives people a chance to save taxes, they’re going to buy.”
Louisiana’s Second Amendment Tax Holiday celebrates the exemption signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2009. On its way to Gov. Jindal, the Louisiana Senate voted 34-0 to establish the annual tax holiday event the first weekend in September. The tax break applies only to consumer purchases.
As defined by Senate Bill 52, purchases eligible for the 3-day tax exemption include “all consumer purchases of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies. Firearms eligible for the sales tax exemption include shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, or other handguns, which may be legally sold or purchased in Louisiana. Ammunition intended to be fired from a gun or firearm is eligible for the sales tax exemption.”
The list also includes such things as animal feed; off-road vehicles and vessels such as ATVs, airboats and pirogues; accessories; apparel; boots; bags; float tubes; binoculars; tools; rangefinders; treestands; blinds; chairs; and holsters.
Other states have enacted laws that exempt items like back-to-school supplies and household appliances from local taxes temporarily, but only Louisiana exempts such a wide variety of hunting, camping, off-road and shooting supplies. In addition to giving sportsmen a significant tax break on big-ticket items like ATVs, we simply like it for the fact that it draws public attention to the major economic contribution made by our pastime and our industry—and that’s a good thing.
Louisiana was the second state to pass a tax-exempt holiday that includes purchases of firearms, but the first state to officially enact one. A bill creating South Carolina’s Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday was originally passed in 2008, but was found to be unconstitutional because it was attached to another measure. A subsequent bill authorizing the state and local taxes to be temporarily waived for the sale of “fixed-cartridge handguns, shotguns and rifles” was passed in 2010.
As a result, South Carolina’s 2-day firearms sales-tax holiday now occurs annually for the 2 days following Thanksgiving.
Would you participate in a Second Amendment tax holiday if your state enacted one?