Michael sez: Screw the Governor and his veto. The Legislature overrode the dumbass. More states ought to do this sort of thing. We need to have a real celebration of the 2nd Amendment!
Published: November 17, 2008
Columbia, SC—Most people are probably unaware of it, but on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, handguns, rifles and shotguns will be sales tax free in South Carolina. State lawmakers passed a bill in June that includes the sales tax holiday on firearms. They called it the Second Amendment Recognition Act.
Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Greenwood, was the sponsor of the original bill. He said he got the idea after talking to the owners of a hunting outfitters shop in Clinton about the late summer sales tax holiday for back-to-school supplies and clothing. The store owners said they could use the stimulus, too. “It was to help dealers,” Rep. Pitts says. “Another point was to bring recognition to the 2nd amendment.”
Kent Parsons, manager of Barron’s Outfitters hunting and fishing store in Columbia, says the days after Thanksgiving are typically busy sales days anyway. He’s hoping that even more people than usual will be buying shotguns and rifles from his store since they’ll be sales tax free. Sales tax will still be charged on ammunition and accessories.
“It might just be enough of a savings that a bigger-ticket item they can justify this year, with economic times being pretty tough,” Parsons says. “If you save 50 or 100 dollars on something, that’s a fairly sizeable reward.”
Gov. Mark Sanford actually vetoed the bill in June, but lawmakers overrode his veto. The bill also includes a sales tax exemption for energy efficient appliances. Gov. Sanford said in his veto message, “While we support the intent underlying sales tax holidays, we are vetoing this bill because we don’t believe that sales tax holidays are an effective method of promoting energy efficiency or the Second Amendment.” He also says several studies have shown that providing a temporary sales tax holiday does not have a significant impact on consumer demand.
The potential for increased sales from the tax holiday comes as gun dealers across the country already report increased sales. Some gun enthusiasts worry that an incoming Democratic president, working with the Democratically-controlled House and Senate, could put new restrictions on gun ownership, so they’re buying now before Barack Obama takes office in January.
But gun control advocates worry that removing the sales tax will, in fact, increase sales as intended and they think it should be harder to get guns, not easier.