Old La. tax holiday for gun purchases could make a comeback

Walking into just about any gun store and it won't take long to notice some of the prices are pretty steep.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 7:04 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Prices at the gun store are pretty steep, but some lawmakers are hoping to provide some relief.

The lawmakers hope that shaving off some of the prices over Labor Day weekend each year could make purchases less of a burden on your wallet.

Before 2018, Louisiana had a tax holiday on guns but was forced to roll it back due to budget issues. However, with an almost $2 billion surplus, Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe, is proposing SB56 to see the tax holiday come back.

“Oftentimes, we have exemptions in this building that do things for a wide range of people,” said Sen. Cathey. “This is something that everyone has an opportunity to qualify for. And so, for that, I’m excited about its potential.”

He added the bill would benefit customers looking to purchase guns as well as retailers.

However, along with ditching the tax breaks on guns in 2018, lawmakers also cut the hurricane preparedness and back-to-school tax breaks. So, why bring back this one in particular before any of the others?

“Well, I do represent north Louisiana, and we are a very outdoors-friendly area of the state. And so, again, I’ve heard from my retailers. And this is what they want to see when they’ve asked me to bring it,” explained Sen. Cathey.

While most Republicans want to see the tax holiday return, there are some lawmakers who think the other items should return first.

“I voted against it because, if you look at the definition, it’s way beyond just our Second Amendment rights of buying guns,” said Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City. “It also includes side-by-side ATVs, airboats, things that you would use to go hunting.”

Sen. Peacock is one of the three Republican senators who voted against it.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Christopher Woosley, manager of Precision Firearms. “I know that Louisiana and the people of Louisiana really respond to the annual sales tax holiday. And it’s been a shame that we haven’t been able to take part in it as a gun store for several years now.”

Woosley added firearm purchases have only continued to climb despite the price of guns going up with inflation.

“Absolutely, they have. One thing I hear really frequently, several times a week, is I’ve never owned a gun before, but I don’t really want to own a gun. But, because of Baton Rouge crime going up so much, I feel like I have to,” noted Woosley.

Precision Firearms will be offering a free class concealed carry course for women with restraining orders against somebody in their life or who have been victims of domestic battery on the last Sunday of June, the store indicated. You’ll still need to come to the store to sign up and bring something showing proof of your case, such as a police report.

The bill has already made it through more than half of the hurdles it needs to get through before it reaches the governor’s desk. It’s set to be taken up on the House floor.

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