Seattle gun tax misfires
A tax on guns on and ammunition in Seattle ostensibly designed to reduce the number of shootings and generate revenue for the “study of the root causes of gun violence” is misfiring. Shootings in the city are up, tax revenues are falling far short of predictions and gun and ammunition business in the city is tanking.
Seattle officials are refusing to say how much the “Gun Violence Tax” brought in the first year, only giving the figure as “under $200,000,” which could be anything. Gun rights groups have sued the city to get the amount. They claim it’s likely about $100,000, which would be far short of the $300,000 to $500,000 number spouted by anti-gun Councilman Mike Burgess, the bill’s sponsor.
Mike Coombs, the owner of Seattle’s largest gun store, Outdoor Emporium, says sales are down 20 percent and gun sales have plummeted 60 percent, forcing him to lay off employees. Employees at the Big 5 sporting goods stores in Seattle all describe their gun sales as anemic. Some gun dealers closed their doors and moved outside the city and claim that sales have never been better, indicating Seattle gun buyers aren’t buying fewer guns, they’re just going outside the city to make purchases.
The tax adds $25 to the price of each firearm and 2 to 5 cents on each round of ammunition sold, depending upon its type, so it’s not surprising to any who understands commerce that gun and ammo sales plummeted and buyers are going elsewhere to make their purchases. Gun groups sued after the bill was passed, but King County Superior Judge Palmer Robinson dismissed a lawsuit claiming the tax exceeded the city’s taxing authority.
Seattle police say they have seen a rise in crime over the last year. They blame it on the drug trade and revenge.
“How much data do you need?” asked Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com and member of the Second Amendment Foundation, in an interview with Fox News. “The data says the law has failed to prevent what they promised it would prevent.
“All these gun control laws affect the wrong people,” Workman said. “The gang bangers don’t go in and buy ammunition at retail, at least not around here. It certainly hasn’t stopped them from getting their hands on firearms.”