Arkansas senator proposes tax free weekend for gun sales

SPRINGDLAE, Ark. —  Republican Senator Bart Hester proposed a bill on Thursday (Jan. 12) that would set up a weekend where the state would drop its 6.5 percent sales tax for gun sales.

Hester said he first saw other states like Louisiana and Mississippi start a sales tax-free weekend.

He said he thought the outdoor and Second Amendment enthusiasts in Arkansas would enjoy something similar.

The proposed tax-free weekend would be the second weekend in September.

“It’s another weekend our retailers, certainly in the gun and firearm industry, can promote and hopefully bring people out too,” said Hester. “It’s called a ‘Second Amendment Appreciation [Weekend]’ and just lets the people of Arkansas enjoy what we do.”

He said he wanted to line up the sales tax-free weekend with the state’s largest gun show.

Ozark Armory Owner, Dean Mathews, in Springdale, said he was excited to learn of Hester’s bill.

He said that weekend was a good time for gun stores because people gear up for the various hunting seasons in the following weeks.

If the bill passes, Mathews said he expects to have people from all over fill his store.

“Hopefully the state can make up some of the sales with people buying more accessories … maybe some of the ammunition for those particular weapons,” Mathews said. “So hopefully the state wins as well.”

Hester’s bill has not been passed, yet.

He said he is still waiting on fiscal study before anything else happens.

“I think if that fiscal impact comes back very reasonable, I think the odds of this passing are very high,” Hester said. “This goes into a committee, it comes out, it goes to the floor, it comes off the House and Senate. By super majority, this thing will pass.”

He said this type of a proposed weekend is about more than just saving a few dollars when buying a gun.

Hester explained his bill is about appreciating our nation’s founders and our Second Amendment rights.