On July 1, a new law went into effect in West Virginia: no sales tax on small arms guns and ammo. So if you wanted to buy an expensive gun, it will be cheaper in West Virginia than surrounding states. But that’s not all it does to stimulate the firearms industry: it gives firearms and ammo manufacturers a tax credit.
In order to be exempt from sales tax, the firearms must be complete with a barrel, it can’t be in pieces.
Ammunition for small arms includes any ammo that is used in the above firearms categories. The purpose of the legislation is to make West Virginia more competitive to the firearms industry. As nearby Virginia ratcheted down on gun control, West Virginia has done the opposite. In West Virginia, it is perfectly legal for nonresidents to purchase guns. The law stems from House Bill 2499 which was passed earlier this year in an effort to stimulate the WV economy.
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The original sales tax on guns in WV was 6%, sometimes higher in some cities. Now what the price tag reads is what you pay. Shops in the border areas with Kentucky and Ohio are poised to reap the benefits of the new law.
Small arms manufacturers and ammunition makers will also profit from the law.
“If you are going to buy that $2,000 rifle, it’s going to be $120 cheaper here in West Virginia than compared to our neighboring states,” said Delegate Gary Howell, a Republican, according to local news outlet WOWK-TV.
The law is also designed to encourage gun and ammunition manufacturing in the state by allowing tax credits for arms and ammunition makers. Ranger Scientific, an ammunition maker, said in May that the company will build an ammunition plant in Montgomery due to the tax law, providing more than 400 jobs.
“If they do a $1 million piece of equipment, we will tax it as if it’s a $50,000 piece of equipment. That’s to encourage investment in the state,” Howell told the station. “It makes West Virginia the single best place to locate arms or ammunition manufacturing plant,” he added of the law.
Small arms guns and ammo may indeed boost West Virginia’s economy. West Virginia is already a target because of the Conservative laws they have passed this year – a ban on transgenders competing with girls, tightening restrictions on needle dispersing programs to addicts, and passing the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act.
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