Alabama Shoots for Tax Holiday for Guns, Ammo
- Mar 6, 2014 | Gail Cole
In Alabama, guns, ammunition and related supplies are subject to sales tax 365 days per year. That could soon change. If a handful of lawmakers gets their way, guns and ammunition could be tax exempt for one weekend a year.
Alabama House Bill 559, submitted last week, seeks to create a sales tax holiday for firearms, ammunition, and firearm supplies. If approved as written, the tax-free period for firearms would begin at “12:01 a.m. on the last Friday of the first full weekend prior to Independence Day, the Fourth of July,” and would conclude at 12:00 midnight the following Sunday. The bill seeks to make the sales tax holiday an annual tradition.
Said Representative Becky Nordgren (R-Gasden), who sponsored the bill, “[W]e hold our 2nd Amendment rights very dear.” She thinks having a sales tax holiday for guns close to the 4th of July “is the perfect [way] to celebrate our rights and independence” (WSMV.com).
The tax-free period could also attract shoppers to the state, giving it a revenue boost, she said: “Once it catches on, I can see our Fourth of July weekends benefitting from the promotion. Maybe we’ll see some gun shows… that would get people here to stay the weekend” (Montgomery Advisor).
Others are worried that another sales tax holiday would rob the state of much needed tax revenue. Alabama already has a sales tax holiday for emergency preparedness and another for school supplies. According to Norris Green, director of the Legislative Fiscal Office, the school supplies holiday costs the state approximately $3.4 million annually, while the emergency preparedness holiday costs the state roughly $2 million.
Alabama is not the first state to consider celebrating the Second Amendment with a sales tax holiday for firearms and ammunition. Louisiana has a tax-free period for these items, South Carolina has in the past, and Texas has considered adding one.