NRA Explore

Seattle City Council Committee Advances Legislation to Tax Gun Owners, Abuse Taxpayers

Friday, August 7, 2015

Seattle City Council Committee Advances Legislation to Tax Gun Owners, Abuse Taxpayers

This week the Education and Governance Committee of the Seattle City Council unanimously advanced legislation to implement a $25 tax on firearms and a $0.05 per round tax on ammunition sold at retail, and to force gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours. The city council has moved forward with the proposal despite Washington’s strong firearms preemption statute that was intended to stop just these sorts of local restrictions. A final vote on the legislation will take place Monday, August 10th.

As we’ve previously explained, this effort and others like it are, simply put, bad policy.

The burden of regressive taxes like the Seattle proposal falls squarely on those that are least able to afford them. Persons of means will simply drive outside the city to purchase firearms and ammunition, while those without such options will be forced to go forego their rights or pay the tax. This is especially egregious considering how those at the lower end of the economic scale also tend to reside in areas where violent crime is the highest.   One wonders whether this type of social engineering on the downtrodden is an intended feature of the legislation rather than an unfortunate consequence. 

At the August 5th committee meeting, Seattle gun store owner Sergey Solyanik shared with city council members the realities the tax would impose on his business and the 22 other firearm dealers in the city. Solyanik reiterated points he made in mid-July to a reporter for the Seattle Times, when he explained, “I would have almost no margins, so I would pass the tax on to my customers and most people would simply not buy from me… They would go to any of the stores around Seattle — there are a large number — and I would have to close.” 

Solyanik also took issue with how the city came up with the estimate that the tax will raise $300,000 to $500,000 annually. A description in the Times article of how the city estimated the revenue suggests they failed to take into account the decrease in sales or outright loss of businesses the new tax would cause. As another Seattle dealer told the Times, “The public won’t buy ammunition in Seattle anymore… When a $10 or $15 box of ammunition costs an extra five bucks, it won’t be worth it.” Solyanik concluded his comments by stating, “I believe the citizens of Seattle deserve a decision making process based on data and logical analysis not ideals.”

Bizarrely, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw has argued in favor of the tax on the grounds that it will be used to fund gun control research. Bagshaw complained of the restriction preventing the Centers for Disease Control from funding anti-gun research, stating, “If we want research money, this is the only way to get it.” This is a grossly untrue statement. Plenty of anti-gun research, like that being conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Gun Violence Policy and Research, is being funded by well-heeled private individuals and foundations. The CDC restriction merely protects taxpayers from being forced to pay for what amounts to anti-gun political activism.

While exposing the lack of an intelligent process for developing the proposed tax, whether the revenue estimate is accurate or not is likely of little concern. Rather than producing the claimed windfall of tax revenue, the legislation will likely force the city and its taxpayers to pick up an expensive legal bill. 

Washington’s preemption statute, Section 9.41.290 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), is perfectly clear:

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components.

A 2008 opinion from the Washington State Attorney General stated that these sorts of local firearm laws are prohibited by the preemption statute. Further, the Court of Appeals of Washington has already educated Seattle on this matter, striking down a local restriction on the Right-to-Carry in city parks back in 2011.

 

The city council still has an opportunity to spare Seattle’s gun owners and taxpayers from this misguided legislation. This selfish and unwise proposal simply raises the political profile of its backers on the city council using funds from the city’s coffers. 

TRENDING NOW
Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

On Monday, September 26, the Missoula City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would only create a burden for law-abiding citizens and may turn them into criminals if they unknowingly violate the ordinance.

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

Friday, September 23, 2016

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

This is the last weekend to sign the referendum petitions! Signatures are still needed to ensure each of the Veto Gunmageddon Referendums qualify for the 2018 ballot.

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

Take Action  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

For a limited time only, the official NRA Store is offering a special deal to anyone who downloads the NRA-ILA App! Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you’ll receive a discount code that you can ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Hunting  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Next week, and important pro-hunting reform bill, Senate Bill 737, may be considered in the House of Representatives.  Please call your state Representative and urge them to vote in favor of Senate Bill 737!

California: Signature Efforts for Veto Gunmageddon Extended to September 24th

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

California: Signature Efforts for Veto Gunmageddon Extended to September 24th

If you have not yet signed the petitions to repeal the seven gun bills signed by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year, please make sure that you do so by September 24th! After that, all ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

News  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.