Last weekend marked the fifth year Louisiana held an annual Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday during the first full weekend of September, when all types of firearms, ammunition and hunting gear sold in the Bayou State were exempt from state and local taxes for three days.
Now, a state senator in neighboring Texas is calling for the passage of a bill to implement a similar event in the Lone Star State.
State Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), who is currently a candidate for Texas State Comptroller, said he supports a tax-free weekend for sportsmen and women leading up to the fall hunting season.
"It is my hope that this 'Back to Hunt' tax-free weekend will provide relief to Texas hunters and fishermen as they pass along their love of the sport to a new generation," Hegar said. "Implementing a tax-free weekend for sportsmen in Texas will stimulate new hunting participation while also increasing economic activity."
In 2009, Act 453 was signed into law by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, creating what has since been known as the Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.
Eligible items include:
- Firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies (for consumer purchase), including archery, shotgun, rifle, pistol, revolver or other handgun.
- Animal feed intended for "…consumption primarily by game, which can be legally hunted."
- Hunting gear, including holsters and bags to carry game.
- Binoculars used only for hunting and hearing protection gear.
- Clothing used for hunting, including hunting shoes or boots.
- Knives primarily used in the course of hunting.
- Off-road vehicles, such as all-terrain vehicles designed and intended primarily for hunting.
- Rifle scopes, range finders, slings, tree stands.
- Vessels such as airboats and pirogues designed and intended for hunting.
- Tools manufactured and marketed as being primarily for use in hunting.
In Texas' 82nd Legislative Session in 2011, Sen. Hegar authored Senate Bill 1411, which proposed a state sales-tax holiday for firearms, ammunition, hunting equipment, and hunting accessories. The measure was met with numerous statewide fiscal obstacles at the time, and failed to garner the necessary support. During the 2013 session, similar legislation was introduced by state Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano), but the measure never received a hearing by the House Ways & Means Committee.
It is Hegar's contention that Louisiana's annual tax-free event draws dollars from gun owners and shooting enthusiasts from across East Texas to neighboring Louisiana, placing firearm and sporting goods retailers in that region of the state at a competitive disadvantage around the time hunting season begins.
"Texas is a great place for men and women who love the great outdoors," Hegar said. "A 'Back to Hunt' tax-free weekend will help us pass along our values, heritage and belief in our Second Amendment rights to future generations, just as my dad and grandfather passed along to me when I was a youth."