Last weekend it was Mississippi gun owners who got to take advantage of the opportunity to get a discount on the purchase of arms, ammo, and some accessories, and now their neighbors to the west are getting to do the same.
Earlier this year Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed (reluctantly, I imagine) legislation declaring Labor Day weekend a Second Amendment sales tax holiday, making it a little bit more affordable to exercise your right to keep and bear arms. The state had held similar tax-free holidays, but cancelled the event in 2018 because of a budget crunch. Now that the state has a surplus, the tax-free holiday is back in effect, and lawmakers as well as business owners are hoping for a busy weekend.
“I’ve had several retailers that reached out and said hey we’d really love to see this come back. There are so many more things than just firearms that are exempted from taxes this weekend that we’ll probably sell more non-firearms than any firearms this weekend,” said Sen. [Stewart] Cathey.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for the customers. I mean state and local sales tax here is about 10% and that puts some products out of people’s ability to purchase,” said Christopher Woosley with Precision Firearms who says the tax break is good for business all around.
He says when the tax holiday was first put in place, most who took advantage were people from all over, even out of state came into their stores.
“That’s money that stays here in Louisiana that would go to another state if we didn’t have this tax holiday. Honestly, I think it’s a win-win for everyone involved,” added Woosley.
From now until midnight Sunday all firearms, ammunition, and many accoutrements can be bought without having to pay the state’s 4.45-percent sales tax, though local sales taxes will still apply.
Consumers can stock up on a variety of items tax-free this weekend, though at least one category of arms are exempt from the holiday. Here’s a list of what is and isn’t covered:
Eligible for Tax Exemption
- Firearms such as hunting rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols and other handguns
- Archery items and other archery accessories
- Accessories designed for hunting
- Apparel including safety gear, camouflage clothing, jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, face masks, and thermal underwear manufactured and marketed as being primarily for wear or use while hunting
- Hunting shoes or boots designed for hunting
- Bags to carry game or hunting gear
- Tools manufactured and marketed as being primarily for use in hunting
- Firearm cases and accessories
- Range finders
- Hunting knives
- Tree stands and blinds
- Chairs used for hunting
- Optics, such as rifle scopes, impact resistant glasses for shooting, and binoculars
- Hearing protection gear and enhancements
- Holsters and belts that are manufactured and marketed as being primarily for use in hunting and slings
- Miscellaneous gear manufactured and marketed as being primarily for use in hunting
Not Eligible for Tax Exemption
- Sale of animals used while hunting, such as dogs
- Animal feed of any kind
- Sales or purchases of toys or off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles
- Golf carts, go-carts, dirt bikes, mini-bikes, motorcycles, tractors, motor vehicles which may be legally driven on the streets and highways of Louisiana
- Heavy equipment such as cranes, forklifts, backhoes, and bulldozers
- Float tubes and vessels, such as airboats
- Knives for household, business, or other recreational uses
- Chairs or other furniture for household, business, or other recreational uses
It’s odd that knives for “household, business, or other recreational uses” aren’t covered while hunting knives are exempt, given that revolvers and pistols (not generally used to take game) are tax-free. Pocket knives and utility knives are still “arms” as far as I’m concerned, but for whatever reason they’re not eligible for the tax-free discount. When Mississippi held its own tax-free holiday last weekend, however, many shops ended up offering a 7-percent discount on non-exempt items, and there’ll probably be similar sales taking place in the Sportsman’s Paradise.
With Bidenomics doing a number on our purchasing power and states like California trying to make it unaffordable to exercise our Second Amendment rights, it’s good to see Louisiana lawmakers take the opposite approach and cut gun owners a break, at least for a weekend. As Woolsey noted, while many Louisianans will be heading to their local gun stores, depending on how close they live to the border of neighboring states they’ll probably see some visitors from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi in the parking lot. Every one of those states has a higher sales tax rate than Louisiana’s to begin with (though Oklahoma’s 4.5-percent sales tax comes close), and the tax-free holiday will be a boon to those who can make the drive across the state line to take advantage of the savings and exercise their Second Amendment rights at the same time.