An Arkansas senator would like to make his state the third state in the nation to show its love for the Second Amendment with a tax-free holiday. The idea is to give buyers a weekend to purchase firearms without needing to tip Uncle Sam for their right to keep and bear arms.
State Senator Bart Hester calls it the “Second Amendment Appreciation Weekend” bill. He introduced it last Friday. The bill’s goals are to boost sales for vendors big and small alike. The bill would also be a big “thank you” to the Founding Fathers for penning the Second Amendment, protecting the basic right for future Americans.
Hester also said that the bill could have long-lasting economic benefits. “If we start to become a pro gun state where it encourages manufactures to come to Arkansas and creates jobs it’s a really great thing,” said Hester.
The state senator would like to make the gun holiday the second week of September. Anyone buying a gun that weekend would not have to pay sales tax for any purchases. The two other states with similar holidays include Louisiana and Mississippi.
“This is the first time it’s been proposed in Arkansas, and we hope to have some luck,” said Hester. “I’m in a position, as most Arkansans are, that the more people that legally own guns the safer we all are. And if this puts somebody in a position to be able to purchase a gun for protection for their home, or personal protection … then I think it’ll actually make people safer in Arkansas.”
The timing, Hester explains, would be perfect. “I visited with some of our major retailers, and they felt like that was leading up to hunting and deer season, but it wasn’t in the deer season, so it was a slower weekend for them.” Gun sales tend to slow down in the summer months, only to pick up as fall starts.
That’s not all. “It also happens to coincide with the largest gun show in the state of Arkansas that weekend,” said Hester.
Not all of the state’s legislators are for the bill. Arkansas Representative Greg Leding argued that the bill won’t actually make it any easier to buy a firearm. “I can’t imagine that it’s the tax on a gun purchase that’s preventing anybody from being able to afford a gun. And if it is just the tax that’s keeping you from being able to afford a gun how are you going to afford keeping ammunition handy,” said Leding to the NWA
Hester countered by pointing out that the bill isn’t just to make guns a little easier to buy. The bill would hopefully encourage the gun industry to expand in the state. Even big companies like Magpul have proven that they will relocate to new states for both political and financial reasons.
“I don’t think it changes the perception of Arkansas. I think they believe that Arkansas is already a very pro-Second Amendment, pro-gun state,” he argued. “If this helps from an economic development where it encourages another manufacturer of guns into Arkansas.”
According to Talk Business & Politics Arkansas ranks number 5 in states friendly to gun owners and gun businesses.
“Arkansas ranked fifth overall. It had the fifth most gun-related jobs per capita with 17.7 per 10,000 residents, while the industry’s $51,217 average wages and benefits was the nation’s 14th highest,” said Talk Business. “The per capita firearms-industry output of $385 was the country’s fourth highest, and the $3.41 in per capita taxes paid by the industry was the country’s 12th highest.”
According to the report, both Remington and SIG Sauer expected to expand in Arkansas, adding a combined total of over 130 new jobs. Hopefully, if this bill passes, it will be the third in a new trend. Hester will read the bill before the state senate in the near future.