Mississippi retailers prepare for Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday
By Christen Smith
In this file photo, Randy Crocker , left, with USA Pawn, shows Hal Finch of Madison a pistol in the store on I-55 at McDowell Road in Jackson. Mississippi lawmakers approved a tax-free holiday weekend for guns and ammo statewide in 2014. (File photo/The Clarion-Ledger)
Gun dealers in Mississippi are gearing up for the state’s fourth annual Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday — a 48 hour window for shoppers to buy guns, ammo and accessories free of the state’s 7 percent sales tax.
Enacted three years ago by the state Legislature, the upcoming weekend means as much for local retailers’ bottom line as the holiday shopping season, a historically busy period for the gun industry.
“It’s actually bigger for us than Black Friday,” Todd Sarotte, manager of Van’s Sporting Goods in Brandon, Mississippi, told the USA Today Network Tuesday. “It’s grown every year, and for the last two years it’s been bigger than Black Friday for us.”
Dealers processed more than 20,000 applications for handguns and long guns through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in August 2016 — a 79 percent increase over the last four years. Guns.com compared background check numbers for August 2016, and September 2013 through 2015 to account for the state’s