SC's Black Friday sales include some tax-free guns - - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC's Black Friday sales include some tax-free guns

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - Gun buyers can save a few bucks this weekend during the South Carolina's third annual Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.

Shoppers packed Nichols Store in Rock Hill looking for the deals. The 2-day after Thanksgiving break includes purchases of handguns, shotguns and rifles.

David Anderson and his son were looking for a shotgun. "With the way the economy is, anytime you can save money, you do it," Anderson said.

Accessories like ammunition, black powder, holsters and archery supplies are taxed. There also is no exemption for antique and collectible handguns, as well as handguns that do not fire a fixed cartridge.

However, at Nichols Store manager Jeff Bolton said if you buy a gun, you get the ammunition free. 

"Actually I thought it would not be that big but the first year that it hit us it just blew us out of the water," Bolton said. In fact, he had to add two cash registers and more staff to handle the heavier traffic.

This is the third annual Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday. It was first tacked onto a 2008 bill that provided similar breaks for energy efficient appliances.

"This is  really more about gun policy than it is about tax policy," John Ruoff with South Carolina Fair Share, a non-profit organization "that investigates policy issues, educates the public about solutions, and organizes for reform that focuses on everyday people."

It's estimated the state will lose out on more than $300,000. Ruoff calls this problematic since the state budget is in bad shape. "We have a state department of social services in desperate financial condition and how many child protection workers could we hire with that $300,000?" Ruoff asked.

The break runs through midnight Nov. 27.

South Carolina holds a tax break weekend for back-to-school items in August.


Copyright 2010 WBTV. . All rights reserved.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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