SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – More than 800 bills were filed during the 2023 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature including the reinstatement of a Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday on Labor Day Weekend.
“This is for everybody in the state,” said State Sen. John C. “Jay” Morris III. “It treats everybody the same. For our hunters and people who want to protect themselves.”
The tax holiday was created in 2009 and was discontinued in 2018. In its original form, the bill was only a tax reduction. Under State Sen. Stewart Cathey’s bill, there would be no state sales tax collected on eligible items.
Some objections to the bill were about the loss of annual state revenue. Cathey’s bill would come at a cost of about $1.3 million annually.
Senator Barrow Peacock offered a few including limiting the scope of items eligible for tax-free purchases. Before the holiday was suspended, purchases including clothing, decoys, tree stands, four-wheelers, and airboats were allowed for the reduction.
“We won’t be able to collect the sales tax on those,” Peacock said. “That’s a big cost to the state when that happens. And I just think that’s something everybody should know about. It goes a lot way beyond firearms for our second amendment rights.”
Others pointed out, this was not the only tax holiday the state has suspended.
“We just can’t afford it at this time and, you know, if anything, we need to look at parents with kids in school and buying uniforms and all that,” Sen. Edward J. “Ed” Price said. “All of that has gone away. So why bring anything back.”
After Sen. Peacock suggested a few changes, the bill will only apply to firearms, optics, and aeroscopes if passed.
A Bossier City gun shop owner says customers can begin shopping for those now.
“Their paperwork is good for thirty days, so if they purchase a gun as a layaway, they can pay it off and do their paperwork,” Gene Mock, Co-owner of Ron’s Guns said. “Then pick it up on Labor Day Weekend and it’s still tax-free because that’s when they’re redeeming their layaway.”
Reinstating this bill is not only beneficial for local business profits, but customers benefit as well.
“The customers love it because it’s almost ten percent extra they can spend on the item rather on the taxes,” Mock said.
The bill cleared the Senate three weeks ago and the House Ways and Means Committee advanced the bill without objection.