Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Get Your Guns Tax Free In South Carolina on Black Friday

South Carolina shoppers will get a second chance to buy tax-free guns.
The 48-hour tax break begins just after midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Shoppers will pay no state or local sales taxes on handguns, rifles and shotguns, which can tally 9 percent. Taxes still apply to ammunition and accessories.

South Carolina had the nation's first tax holiday on guns last year, after legislators tacked it on to a tax break on energy-efficient appliances. But the state Supreme Court threw out that law in May because of an unrelated energy amendment. Lawmakers restored the tax break as a one-time event in the budget this year.

Louisiana followed this year with its own sales tax holiday for hunters in September. That break went further, applying to any item that can be used for hunting or fishing, including off-road vehicles, airboats, animal feed and ear plugs.

South Carolina is the only state to designate a tax-free weekend during two of the year's biggest shopping days. It is also one of the top five states that provide 85% of the illegal handguns recovered in New York City. Even without a tax holiday, South Carolina gun shops sold a half-million handguns in a 10-year period.

How much shoppers saved in the gun-friendly state last Thanksgiving weekend is unknown. State economic officials estimated it would cost the state about $15,000.

South Carolina's tax-free weekend for school supplies is in August.

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