The second annual “Second Amendment Weekend” begins tonight. The 48-hour tax break on firearms begins just after midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving. Shoppers will pay no state or local sales taxes on handguns, rifles and shotguns, which can total 9 percent. South Carolina had the nation’s only tax holiday on guns last year. Legislators tacked it on to a tax break on energy-efficient appliances, then restored it in the budget this year. Adrienne Fairwell is a spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
“All retailers are allowed to participate in the weekend as long as they sell rifles, shotguns and handguns, so it is not limited just to gun retail shops. It is for any retailer that may sell any of the eligible exempt items.”
Taxes still apply to ammunition and accessories. Fairwell says for more information on the “second amendment weekend” persons may log on to sctax.org.
JIm Frazier is Store Manager for Trader’s Gun Shop in the town of Taylors, located 8 miles from Greenville. Frazier says the customer traffic was brisk at his store during last year’s “second amendment weekend.” Frazier says South Carolina is an “instant check state” which means a person who wishes to purchase a gun must fill out a federal form, that information is then checked by the FBI through the agency’s computer. Frazier says after the information is thoroughly checked, the FBI then gives the store owner, manager or salesperson a determination whether that person can legally purchase a firearm. Frazier says sometimes the store may get a quick response, and sometimes there may be a waiting period involved.
“Proceed means that the customer gets to take the firearm home that day and that means that nothing is showing up on the FBI”s computers that would raise warning flags. A delay could be up to three business working days not counting the day you call it in or weekends or holidays. It must be “Monday through Friday” working days, not including holidays.”
Frazier says buyers must be 18 year of age, and have proper photo identification, for example a current driver’s license. A person with a criminal record cannot legally purchase a firearm.
Frazier says it is important to note that eligible customers from out of state by law can only purchase long guns, more specifically rifles or shotguns. “Hand guns, by federal law, can only be purchased in your home state of residence. Now if someone from North Carolina saw a handgun here that they wanted, they could purchase the gun, but I would have to ship it to a dealer in North Carolina and the purchaser would have to have the background check conducted at their home state dealer. They would then be eligible to obtain the merchandise according to their state’s laws, plus the federal laws.”