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Fighting for Your Rights…And Your Wallet

gun tax second amendment holiday
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
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By Larry Keane

Tax holidays are a common occurrence across many states in the U.S where, usually for one weekend a year, certain eligible products are exempt from sales tax. The benefits of these holidays are two-fold, as business owners see a dramatic increase in sales throughout the holiday weekend while consumers can save hundreds on much-needed items.

The most common tax holiday across participating states includes common back-to-school items such as computers, books, clothing, and other school supplies. As a result, the most common time for those tax holidays is in August, before the school year begins.

second amendment tax holiday

Second Amendment Tax Holiday

The beginning of fall signals not only the return of the school year but also the beginning of hunting season. To prepare for many hours to be spent hunting with a gun in a duck blind or a deer stand, hunters need to equip themselves with ammunition, various outdoor gear, and maybe even a new firearm.

That is why some states have tried, are currently trying, or now have a Second Amendment tax holiday where people can purchase hunting supplies, ammunition, and firearms without the burden of sales tax. It’s reasonable to assume many hunters may spend somewhere around $500-$1,000 on supplies to start a hunting season so the opportunity to save $50-$70 (depending on the state) on those purchases translates to significant savings for many individuals and families.

Benefits for Consumers

Much like the Second Amendment itself is not just about hunting, neither is the Second Amendment tax holiday. Lowering the already significant tax burden on firearms and related products ensures that, for at least one weekend of the year, the right to exercise one’s right to bear arms is more affordable than ever.

Individuals who are simply looking to protect their home and families or those who just want to enjoy time sport shooting but who once saw such activities as just outside their price range have unique opportunities to do so under a Second Amendment tax holiday.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Benefits for Firearms Industry

While tax holidays offer benefits to consumers, they can also provide dramatic revenue spikes to firearms retailers. For example in South Carolina, the first state to implement a Second Amendment tax holiday in 2008, gun sales increased by 650% in a single day.

While South Carolina no longer has their tax holiday, Mississippi has enjoyed a Second Amendment tax holiday each year since implementation in 2014. In 2018, one local firearms retailer said that the holiday “gets bigger and bigger every year. Right now, we’re selling a firearm about every 1.2 minutes.”

Breakdown by State

The benefits for consumers and retailers speak for themselves, which is why there are many states who are currently trying or have recently tried to implement such tax holidays in their respective state legislatures. In the past six years, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Maryland have all tried to implement the tax holidays but failed to pass them through state legislatures despite strong proponents.

As the firearm industry’s association, NSSF is on the front lines of state advocacy so that more states can enjoy the numerous benefits of the Second Amendment tax holidays. In states like Texas, where there is another bill under consideration that would establish a tax holiday, NSSF is committed to fighting for the benefits these holidays provide for retailers and citizens alike.

In 2018, as the Tennessee state legislature again tried to pass a Second Amendment tax holiday into law, state House Rep. Micah Van Huss said that he fully agreed with the idea as “some people are able to feed their families by hunting deer, and hogs which can be hunted year-round, but also, celebrating the Second Amendment is a primary reason we are a free nation. I think it’s a great idea.”

State Senator Rusty Crowe also supported last year’s legislation because “many who struggle financially are living or working in high crime areas, and for many, the investment in a firearm would be a challenge financially (but) this legislation could allow citizens to better afford protection.”

While the fight for this tax holiday is still being fought now in states like Tennessee and Texas, it should be an idea taken seriously across all states so that citizens may have an opportunity to affordably exercise their Second Amendment rights while supporting local firearms businesses.


Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.

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  1. 2nd Amendment Tax Holiday. Hell, I’d be thrilled if they even acknowledged the 2nd Amendment meant what it says.

  2. Cute, I guess for me there are probably 4 or 5 times a year I declare my own holiday and spend heavy on ammo, good training and gun related stuff. Guess if it passes in AZ I’ll have 6…good idea…-30-

  3. Tax stamp holiday for NFA stuff, I would support that! Maybe the ol’ attorney general could, as he is allowed, declare one of those machine gun/NFA amnesties, that could be a fun one!

    Sales tax savings just aren’t that amazing, $70 on a $1000 rifle? .70 on a box of $10 ammo? There are better deals and rebates year round, unless they are cutting all the conservation/sin taxes, those would be more substantial.

    • Now that is the best idea I have read here so far. An NFA tax holiday and amnesty to register new NFA items for free. Maybe after a while we could make it all year long.

  4. Well, if government really wanted to do it right, fedzilla would repeal the Pittman-Robertson Act and stop charging the 10% to 11% excise tax on firearm and ammunition sales in addition to state sales taxes which average something like 5% to 6%.

    Now imagine that tax holiday, where the price of firearms and ammunition were reduced about 16%.

    That means a low-income family could purchase a home-defense shotgun for $227 instead of the normal price of $270 — a savings of $43. That is a BIG deal for a family that is just scraping by.

  5. There is NO SUCH THING as a tax holiday or tax cut. Gov will just raise a different tax to make up the difference. The ONLY TAX CUT IS A SPENDING CUT.

  6. I will be surprised if we in Texas get the tax free holiday for sporting goods or firearms. We have traitors in our Legislature like Speaker Bonnen that will not allow the Constitutional carry Bill to come up. He was put into his Speakership by the last traitor that held the Speakership. Something is wrong when one person can derail the voters will for a bill to be passed.

  7. All taxation is theft. ALL TAXATION IS THEFT.

    The original small government of this country was run on a 15% tariff on imported goods. Not high enough to discourage imports.

    How about we resume that and cut government back to what can run on that.

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