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Tax Free Weekends on Guns

Mississippi & Louisiana are about to kick off their tax-free weekends on guns, ammunition, and other sporting equipment.

Some groups have found that these sales tax holidays (on all items, not just “hunting” themed days) don’t actually stimulate extra purchases, they just inspire informed shoppers to shift the date they plan to purchase items they would already purchase. (Apple set up a website to guide their shoppers on when they can take advantage of the breaks in their states.) In fact, that 2013 report notes some interesting facts about some of the gun-themed sales tax holidays. In Louisiana, their sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies is capped at purchases of $1,500, but their holiday for guns & ammo isn’t capped at all. Based on the state official guide, it seems like Mississippi’s holiday is also unlimited, whereas their sales tax holiday on clothing is capped at $100. (The guide also provides a detailed list of what is included and what is not included.) South Carolina’s sales tax holiday on just guns (not ammo) that falls the Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving isn’t listed in the report, but I didn’t find any reference to a cap online, and their other sales tax holidays aren’t capped, either.

Sales tax holidays on guns and ammo are something I kind of feel “eh” about in the big scheme of things. It doesn’t radically change anything on the freedom scale for either fiscal change or gun rights. In fact, there’s quite a bit of truth in the summary from the report linked above that notes if your sales tax situation is so terrible in your state that you need to offer citizens a holiday from it, the entire sales tax system should be revisited. On the other hand, if all of these other special interests get a tax holiday, why not guns, too?

3 Responses to “Tax Free Weekends on Guns”

  1. TS says:

    Some groups have found that these sales tax holidays (on all items, not just “hunting” themed days) don’t actually stimulate extra purchases, they just inspire informed shoppers to shift the date they plan to purchase items they would.

    Nuh-uh. People bought extra cars because of the “cash for clunkers” program. It was a huge boom for the economy- not to mention also saved the planet! Didn’t you hear?

  2. rd says:

    Tax-free Holidays?

    Your Lords and Masters are giving something back that they have taken from you miserable peasants. They are granting you a boon, and you should be grateful they did not take more. Now bow and scrape before them, and be thankful for the table scraps they grant you.

  3. Echo says:

    You could model this as a state-funded sale that give price-sensitive buyers a discount for planning/delaying purchases.
    If you think about it that way, it’s basically the state government subsidizing guns and ammunition for people marginally too poor to afford them.

    Dude buying his 4th AR isn’t going to bother waiting, so he pays the tax. Some poor schmuck who can barely afford a home defense shottie waits the extra month, and she gets a 7% discount for it out of the state budget.

    Pretty neat idea, if it works. But definitely a poor substitute for a more effective and less gameable tax system.

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