Tax-free gun sales excite

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

FERRIDAY — If happiness is a warm gun, then this weekend Louisiana shoppers have the opportunity to buy happiness tax-free.

The governor signed into law in July an annual “Second Amendment Weekend holiday,” which provides that neither local nor state sales taxes will be applied to purchases of hunting supplies on the first consecutive Friday through Sunday of September.

Hewitt Archery owner Homer Hewitt said he was unaware the law had gone into effect until people came into his store and said they were going to wait until the weekend to make purchases.

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“We had one guy come in (Friday) who wanted to put something on layaway, but when we told him about the tax-free weekend, he decided he would go ahead and buy it,” Hewitt said.

“I definitely think it will boost our sales.”

And potential sporting goods store customers shouldn’t be misled by the weekend’s second-amendment moniker — the tax exemption applies to more than guns.

By the law creating the holiday, the definition of “hunting supplies” includes but is not limited to “archery, off-road vehicles, and vessels such as ATVs, airboats and pirogues.”

It also includes, “animal feed, apparel, shoes, bags, float tubes, binoculars, tools, firearm and archery cases, firearm and archery accessories, range finders, knives, decoys, tree stands, blinds, chairs, optics, hearing protection and enhancements, holsters, belts, slings and miscellaneous gear.”

Hewitt said he believes the tax-free holiday will encourage more people to get involved in hunting.

“It is helping young people who haven’t been into hunting before, it’s helping them get from in front of the television and helping them get out,” he said.

“A lot of the older generation (of hunters) are dying off, and the younger generation isn’t picking up the slack.”

But Hewitt also said having a tax-free holiday to encourage hunting only makes sense.

“We’re the sportsman’s paradise here in Louisiana, so we should be doing things like this.”