Legislation introduced in three states this year would create tax-free holidays on the sale of firearms, ammunition and an assortment of outdoor and hunting related items.
Currently, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas have measures moving in their respective state legislatures providing a respite from state sales tax for one or two weekends each year for law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen. Commonly referred to as Second Amendment Tax Holidays, the practice has already proven popular and profitable in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Louisiana sportsman's tax-break weekend has been in place since 2009, while 2014 marked the first year for Mississippi to follow suit.
The existing bills as well as the proposed ones have received support from the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. In Texas, HB 849 would exempt firearms and selected hunting supplies from states taxes for two weekends each year: the last full weekend of August and final weekend of October, each occurring just before the opening of popular hunting seasons in The Lone Star State.
"HB 849 recognizes that hunting is a time-honored tradition in Texas and looks to give tax relief to the sportsmen and women who continue one of our most cherished pastimes," said Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) the measure's primary sponsor.
In Maryland, Senate Bill 447 aims to establish a sales-and-use-tax-exemption period for firearms, ammunition and sporting goods shopping in Maryland in effect the third Sunday in April through the following Saturday each year, starting in 2016. A hearing for the bill was scheduled this week. And in Tennessee, a pair of bills would establish a "Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday" beginning the first Friday in September and continuing through that Sunday. During the event, a variety of shooting and hunting items would be exempt from state sales tax.
Numerous states already have a wide variety of sales tax holidays, ranging from breaks on school supplies, clothing, energy-saving appliances and hurricane-preparedness supplies.