Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, says he will file a bill to allow for a tax-free weekend for gun sales in Arkansas. The legislation, being drafted, is modeled after similar efforts being considered in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Known as “Second Amendment Weekend,” the bill would remove Arkansas’ 6.5% sales tax from the sale of firearms, ammunition, and certain hunting gear during the tax-free holiday period. Hester hasn’t announced the date of the tax-free weekend, but in Mississippi it is set for Aug. 26-28 and in Louisiana it is set for Sept. 2-4.
“I read about a few other southern states that have incorporated this type of Second Amendment tax free weekend and I liked the idea for Arkansas,” said Hester.
Five states exclude gun sales from sales tax collections. They include Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon, according to reports.
With gun sales at record highs this year, Hester suggests the tax break isn’t targeted to boost lagging sales.
“I hope the tax-free holiday will help boost already successful sales for guns in Arkansas,” he said. “However, this bill is about supporting the Second Amendment and encouraging the successful outdoor sportsmanship opportunities that Arkansas offers.”
Hester said he hopes the measure will lead to more legal gun owners in Arkansas, but he’s also hoping it will kick-start more business for gun shops and outdoor stores.
“I do hope to encourage more gun sales to all Arkansans that have the right to legally own firearms. The excitement, of this type of tax-free weekend, for our retailers, is always an added value to the state. This tax holiday will help all Arkansans remember and appreciate the rights given to each of us by our founding fathers,” Hester said.
He is awaiting a fiscal impact statement from the Department of Finance and Administration on the measure, but he adds, “I hope the additional sales of items such as ammo and cases will do much to offset the impact to the budget.”