Mary Tutwiler

Lock 'N Load: Firearm tax holiday coming in September

by Mary Tutwiler

If you’ve only got a baseball bat under your bed to protect yourself from midnight break-ins, here’s your opportunity to upgrade the home armory. A new law, passed by the legislature this year, allows for a three-day tax holiday on the purchase of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies. This year, September 4-6 is dubbed the Annual Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday and applies to state and local sales taxes. The exemption is not available for business purchases. Consumer purchases do not include the purchase of animals for hunting.

While the law is couched in terms that encourage the state’s hunters to rack up on supplies like deer stands and duck decoys, don’t be naive. Here’s the definition of “firearm” in the bill: “a shotgun, rifle, pistol, revolver or other handgun, which may be legally sold or purchased in Louisiana.”

Earlier this year, Congressional Quarterly ranked Louisiana as the second most dangerous state in the nation, following Nevada, and first per capita in the murder rate for 2009. In July, Shreveport TV station KSLA-12 reported:
Baton Rouge’s murder rate this year has risen to the point where, using FBI measurement standards, the city is way ahead of traditionally kill-prone cities like Cleveland, Newark, and even Detroit.

Not since the late 1980s, when the number of murders in Baton Rouge doubled, has there been such dramatic and frightening numbers about killing. So far this year, 46 people have been murdered in Baton Rouge. At the halfway point of 2008, projected to July 15th, there were 27 dead. Dr. Shannon Cooper, the coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish, says one reason is the kids are getting much better weapons. “We used to see a single bullet hole,” he said. “Now, there are five, six, seven bullet holes.”

The spike in murders this year puts Baton Rouge’s numbers comparable to last year’s numbers in major cities across the country. New Orleans was considered the murder capital of the nation in 2008.
Looks like Baton Rouge may be the epicenter for the proliferation of hand guns as well as violent crime. So thanks, Louisiana lawmakers, for making it cheaper to unload handguns onto the street. Shoot em’ up, boys.