There isn’t a far-left issue that the Seattle City Council hasn’t passed or considered passing. So you just knew that they would get around to screwing gun owners in some novel and inventive way.
How about a $25 tax on every firearm sold? Add to that a 5 cent tax on every cartridge and you have the typical liberal assault on law-abiding gun owners.
But that’s only part of the package. There’s also a provision to require gun owners to report the theft or loss of any firearm within 24 hours.
Gun-rights advocates protested, but a Seattle City Council committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve a two-pronged gun-safety plan, which would tax sales of guns and ammunition in Seattle and require that gun owners report the theft or loss of any firearm within 24 hours.
The council is slated to give final approval to the measure on Monday.
Harborview Medical Center treated 253 victims of gun violence in 2014 at a cost of $17 million, $12 million of that borne by the taxpayers, so it is right to “ask the gun industry to chip in and help defray those costs,” Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, sponsor of the legislation, told colleagues.
Actually, it’s right to ask the people who incurred the cost to pay it. But I suppose it’s a little too much to ask some gangbanger to reimburse the taxpayer for getting in the way of a bullet.
If the legislation passes, the gun lobby is certain to draw a bead on it in court. The lobby prevailed three years ago, arguing state preemption and overturning a newly enacted Seattle ordinance that banned firearms in Emerald City parks.
The $25 tax on gun purchases will cause buyers to “travel to retailers outside Seattle,” Trevor Santos, manager of government relations for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told council members. The burden of the tax, which also includes a five-cents-per-cartridge tax on ammunition, would fall on “law-abiding gun owners,” argued Santos, because criminals don’t patronize legitimate gun dealers (who run background checks).
The tax is expected to bring $300-500,000 a year to city coffers, although officials said Wednesday that the estimate is not one you can take to the bank.
The council members were unmoved. Burgess and council member Sally Bagshaw noted that Congress recently extended a ban that forbids the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying the underlying causes of gun violence. The ban was imposed in 1996 at the behest of the National Rifle Association.
“If we want research money, this is the only way to get it,” said Bagshaw.
Jazz Shaw takes down the silly notion that the revenue from the tax will be anywhere near what they think it’s going to be:
Supporters are claiming that this tax could bring in a half million dollars in revenue, but under the best of circumstances that sounds vastly inflated. It also doesn’t take into account how much it could affect the local market. As one local gun dealer pointed out, it’s a competitive sales space and they already sell pretty much on the margins. If he has to jack up the price of a ten or fifteen dollar box of ammunition by five dollars, shooters will simply go outside the city limits and buy their rounds where the tax is not applied. The same goes for new gun purchases. If sales plummet, the tax revenue goes down by default and if the shops close, the revenue disappears entirely.
Of course, that’s been the idea all along. This isn’t a tax intended to raise revenue for vital services. It’s a political statement. That’s why the supporters of the proposal even call it the gun violence tax. They’re not expecting to raise cash or reduce violence. They’re simply looking to show their base constituents how “serious” they are about restricting gun rights. The irony behind all of this is that the city will doubtless face a series of expensive lawsuits if the tax is put in place and they’ll probably lose. In the end they will wind up getting no revenue and the taxpayers will be stuck with the bill for the court costs and associated expenses.
But hey… this is Seattle. What did you really expect?