While retailers in many states are hosting “back to school” sales or even putting their Christmas items on display this weekend, in Mississippi the biggest news for consumers is the Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday that kicked off on Friday.
The program was first launched in 2014 with an act from the state legislature and exempts firearms, ammunition, and some accessories from the state’s 7% sales tax. That’s a nice discount for both residents and non-residents willing and able to travel to the state, especially with Bidenomics and its accompanying inflation taking a bite out of working-class Americans’ wallets.
A full list of what items are eligible for the tax break can be found here, and it’s worth noting that while arms and ammunition are exempt from the state’s sales tax, general hunting supplies are not. You won’t have to pay sales tax on a new scope or sight for your rifle, but if you want a pair of binoculars you’ll still have to pay full price.
In addition to the suspension of the state sales tax, many retailers are adding their own incentives to bring in customers this weekend.
Austin Doyle, Manager at Two Gun Tactical in Flowood, said this coming weekend is great for their business. They choose to offer an additional 7% off so that items not covered under the sales-tax free option also have a discount.
“We jokingly call it our Super Bowl. We will do in two days of sales what we usually would do in a full month,” said Doyle.
Doyle said at their store, they see purchases across the board. Some customers come in for the first time looking to purchase a firearm and others are already gun owners looking to stock up on ammunition or accessories.
Items purchased within the holiday window but not delivered to a customer until a later date are also eligible for the tax break.
Customers can take advantage of this sales tax-free weekend through purchases made in person, over the phone, by mail or on the internet, as long as it is done over the weekend. The DOR specifies that eligibility of the tax break is lost if the purchaser requests or causes a delayed shipment of an item.
“This is a great weekend to exercise your Second Amendment Rights. I encourage all Mississippians to take advantage of the tax holiday, save money, and support local small businesses at the same time,” said Governor Tate Reeves of the holiday.
Doyle says he’d love to see the sales tax holiday expanded to include another weekend ahead of the spring hunting season, and if he’s doing a month’s worth of sales in a single weekend I can understand why he’s so eager for a repeat performance.
I’d just like to see more states adopt at least one weekend where arms, ammunition, and accessories are sales-tax-free, even if the 11% federal excise tax remains in place. In fact, with California Democrats looking to subject gun owners in the state to a new 11% tax on arms and ammunition, now would be a great time for red-state legislatures to send a message of their own by exempting those products from the state sales tax year-round.
Besides Mississippi, the only places I’ve found with similar Second Amendment-related tax-free holidays are Louisiana and South Carolina, though Tennessee has also held tax-free holidays for the purchase of gun safes and other “gun safety devices”. This might not be the most pressing issue facing gun owners at the moment, but I don’t think many of us would object to keeping ahold of a little more of our money when we’re exercising our right to keep and bear arms.