Mississippi is poised to join neighboring Louisiana by permitting sportsmen to purchase firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, all-terrain vehicles and other sporting items without paying state sales tax for a weekend under a bill expected to soon receive the governor's signature. In a lopsided 101 to 16 vote on March 18, the Mississippi House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 2425, commonly referred to as the Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday bill.
The measure was sponsored by state Senator Philip Moran (R-Hancock and Harrison Counties). On the House side, a companion bill was sponsored by House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-Hinds, Madison, Warren and Yazoo Counties, while Rep. Jeff Smith (R-Lowndes County), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, handled the bill on the House floor.
The bill will return to the state Senate, where House amendments are expected to be ratified, before heading to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant, who supports the measure. SB 2425 received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
Defined in the bill, "firearms" refers to handguns, rifles and shotguns. "Hunting supplies" means tangible personal property used for hunting, including, but not limited to, accessories, bows, crossbows, arrows, hunting apparel, hunting footwear, bags, float tubes, binoculars, tools, firearm and archery cases, firearm and archery accessories, range finders, knives, decoys, treestands, blinds, chairs, optics, hearing protection and enhancements, holsters, belts and slings.
Implementation of SB 2425 will not affect the collection of federal excise tax paid on firearms, ammunition and bowhunting equipment under terms of the Pittman-Robertson Act. The Mississippi Sportsman Weekend will take place on the first Saturday and Sunday of September. Those who participate may also use the tax-exempt weekend to place items on layaway, still receiving the tax break when they buy them later. Once signed, it will become effective July 1, 2014.
A similar measure, H 559, is currently working its way through the Alabama House of Representatives.