CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Starting July 1, 2021, all small firearms and ammunition bought in West Virginia will no longer contain a sales tax.
“If you are going to buy that $2,000 riffle, it’s going to be $120 cheaper here in West Virginia than compared to our neighboring states,” said Delegate Gary Howell, (R) District 56.
This law was formed in House Bill 2499, which was passed during this year’s legislative session to promote business by exempting sales taxes for consumers.
With more than five million first-time, new gun owners in just 2020, gun stores like this in West Virginia hope to continue the trend in sales.
“It’s definitely going to spike gun sales for the foreseeable future. Then after that, I think it will steadily increase in terms of your mid and high-range arms. So, I think over the long term that it will definitely be a boost in business,” said Taylor Collins, gun and ammo salesman for Bridgeport.
But the sales tax is only a small part; the bill also stimulates economic growth in manufacturing industries by allowing tax credits for arms and ammo makers in the state.
“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,” said Delegate Howell.
Bullet manufacturer, Ranger Scientific, announced in May 2021 the company will build an ammunition plant in Montgomery because of this new tax law. This will be one of the first arms manufacturers in West Virginia and will provide the state more than 400 jobs.
“It makes West Virginia the single best place to locate arms or ammunition manufacturing plant,” said Delegate Howell.
Manufactures in bordering states are already thinking about making West Virginia their new home.