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Sales tax holiday for gun purchases coming to South Carolina
By Rick Spruill (Contact)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, South Carolina residents will have a 48-hour period when they can purchase guns, shotguns, and rifles tax-free.
The first annual Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday in the state is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 28 and continue through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 29.
The sales tax holiday, approved by the South Carolina General Assembly in June, will permit the purchase of fixed-cartridge handguns, shotguns, and rifles without state and local sales and use taxes.
According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, only purchases of fixed-cartridge handguns, shotguns and rifle will be tax-free.
Sales of items such as ammunition, black powder, holsters, archery supplies, antique guns and collectible guns will continue to be taxed.
The tax break represents a boon for gun enthusiasts as well as gun sellers and pawn shops, coming as it does during what are traditionally two of the two busiest shopping days of the year.
But the holiday, initially vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford, has been met with criticism by some groups that support gun control.
Skip Gilmer, owner of Ammo Plus on Pleasantburg Road in Anderson, is looking forward to what the tax holiday will mean for his business.
“Obviously, the tax-free weekend will be an incentive for buyers, and we are looking forward to seeing a bit more foot traffic over the weekend of Nov. 28 and 29,” Gilmer said.
Gun Owners of America, an advocacy group for Second Amendment rights, said the sale of tax-free guns is in no way a departure from the idea behind responsible gun ownership.
“To suggest that selling guns tax free for a day or two is irresponsible shows a low regard for the right every American has to self-defense,” said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.
But Scott Vogel, spokesman for Freedom States Alliance, a national advocacy group against gun violence, said the tax-free sale of guns comes at a time when purchasing a gun should not be made easier.
“The tax-free gun weekend is little more than a gimmick to get people to buy more guns at a time when we should be making it harder, not easier, to buy them,” Vogel said in a telephone interview Friday. “We wouldn’t support a tax-free weekend on tobacco. Why would we support a tax-free weekend on guns?”