State lawmakers consider tax-free guns, ammo holiday weekend

JACKSON, Tenn. — State lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a sales tax holiday weekend for guns and ammunition.

“It could potentially save you a lot of money,” Tim Perry, a hunter, said.

The bill would establish a “Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday” the first weekend in September. “I think it’s the perfect time to do it right before hunting season,” Perry said.

Shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, BB guns or muzzleloaders would all be tax free, according to the bill. The proposal does not include explosive weapons.

“It’ll give folks an opportunity to buy guns that are planning a purchase,” Perry said.

Paul Burkart owns Smokin Guns in north Jackson. He said doing away with the nearly 10 percent sales tax could save buyers anywhere from $50 to $100 depending on the price of the gun. “I think it will be a great thing for the buyers,” Burkart said.

Gun retailers said a tax-free weekend on guns and ammunition would be good for business. “Me and my wife just run our store,” Burkart said. “I don’t know whether we’d be able to handle the amount of people that would probably show up.”

If approved, Perry said he would likely take advantage of the tax-free weekend. “Any excuse to buy a new gun,” he said.

If it passes, the law would take effect July 1.

Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson, released a statement saying: “While I appreciate the sponsor’s intent and look for any opportunity to lower the tax burden on our citizens, the bill would have a negative fiscal impact on the state. Since the bill is scheduled to be heard tomorrow, I would like to see how the sponsor of the bill intends to reconcile that expense. I like the idea, as long as there is room in the budget for another tax holiday.”

Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar, released the following statement: “While I believe in a citizen’s 2nd amendment rights, I do have concerns and think this bill needs serious tweaking. One of my concerns is the “stockpiling” of goods for resale possibly. I certainly believe that Tennesseans should enjoy tax-free holidays. While we currently have tax-free back-to-school-holidays, even that holiday has some restrictions.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to take up the issue in committee March 14.

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