On October 22nd, the Tacoma City Council will be holding its First Reading on a proposed ordinance to impose a new tax on all purchases of firearms and ammunition. The proposed tax would unnecessarily burden law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to reduce crime.
This $25 per firearm and $0.05 per cartridge of ammunition tax, proposed by Council Member Ryan Mello, is similar to the 2015 encumbrance the NRA strongly opposed in Seattle. The NRA opposes the Tacoma Proposal for the same reasons: the ordinance would punish law-abiding gun owners and retailers in Tacoma, while doing nothing to hinder criminals or reduce crimes involving firearms. A Department of Justice Survey confirmed the NRA’s position, concluding that only 1.3% of criminals acquired firearms through taxable avenues. The overwhelming majority of offenders obtained firearms through “friends or family” or a “street/illegal source.”
Worse still, the threatened tax measure would disproportionately impact lower income residents who nonetheless seek to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Unlike their wealthier counterparts living in the city, citizens of lesser means are often restricted to public transportation and cannot afford to travel to buy cheaper items in faraway places (i.e. beyond the reach of Tacoma’s proposed taxes).
These firearm and ammunition taxes never deliver on the politician’s promise of increasing public safety and funding “gun violence programs and research.” After the implementation of the tax in Seattle, shooting crimes did not decrease—in fact, the Seattle Police Department confirmed that shooting crimes actually increased. Nor did the tax generate nearly the amount of revenue that politicians projected. In short: Seattle’s “gun violence tax” was followed by more violent crime and less revenue, a disaster for which you’ll be footing the bill if Tacoma’s politicians repeat it.
NRA and partner organizations continue to work in opposition to this proposal. Visit your email inbox and www.nraila.org for further updates on your Second Amendment issues in Washington.