No state sales tax holiday on guns, ammo in Louisiana this year

Gene Mock, co-owner of Ron’s Guns, helps a customer in Bossier City, Louisiana. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)

Louisiana sportsmen hoping to save a few bucks Labor Day weekend during the state’s annual sales tax break will have to look for deals elsewhere.

In June, lawmakers banned the state’s popular tax holidays — including for school supplies, hurricane preparedness gear, guns, ammunition and hunting equipment — through 2025 in an effort to fill a budget deficit.

The Second Amendment tax holiday, first established in 2009, initially exempted the purchases from all state and local taxes. Lawmakers amended the holiday in 2016 to charge 3 percent sales tax, instead. Local tax exemptions for guns and ammo will remain in place, according to multiple media reports.

Democratic State Sen. Francis Thompson told the Ouachita Citizen earlier this month the tax breaks served as an incentive for buyers. He believes legislators will restore the holidays next year.

“We have a lot of outdoors enthusiasts who look forward to the Second Amendment weekend,” he said. “It may not be a great savings, but it motivates them to buy those guns and materials.”

It’s not the first time the Legislature has looked to balance fiscal shortfalls with the lost revenue from the tax holidays, either. In 2015, lawmakers temporarily eliminated all tax holidays, recouping $4.3 million in total — $600,000 alone from the guns and ammo event, according to a report from Everyday Money.

Gun sales from last year’s tax holiday, however, hit a seven-year low after Hurricane Harvey caused record flooding along Louisiana’s southwest coast — five days after stalling over Houston and drenching the city with four feet of rain. Although downgraded to a tropical storm at the time, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards still sought federal assistance for 20 parishes affected by the storm.

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