The PJ Tatler

Seattle Passes 'Gun Violence' Tax, NRA and Others Sue Seattle

Not just one, but three Second Amendment groups have filed suit against the city of Seattle for adopting a “gun violence tax” on ammunition and firearms, “designed to help offset the financial toll of gun violence”:

The complaint was filed Monday in King County Superior Court by the NRA, the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, along with two gun owners and two gun shops. It called the tax legally unenforceable because Washington state prohibits local governments from adopting laws related to firearms unless those local ordinances are specifically authorized by the state.

More likely than not, the people engaged in gun violence are not the people legally buying firearms and paying the gun violence tax. This is a punitive measure that sticks it to firearm owners for the behavior of thugs and criminals. And of course, it provides a new revenue stream for a city run by progressive gun-haters.

From the NRA lawsuit:

The ordinance serves only as a piece of propaganda, because the ordinance’s mandates are legally unenforceable … The state of Washington has the exclusive right to regulate the sale of firearms in Washington, and cities may not enact local laws or regulations related to the sale of firearms.

But Seattle city attorney Pete Holmes says the city does have the taxing authority, a view shared by City Council President Tim Burgess:

The NRA does this all across the country whenever they feel that anyone is trying to regulate firearms, and that’s not what we’re doing here … We’re using the city’s taxing authority, which is granted to us by the Washington Constitution and the Legislature.

We took a simple and commonsense measure to support gun safety research and prevention methods … It’s not in any way an attempt to regulate the sale, use or possession of firearms.

Just like raising the tax on cigarettes isn’t used to dissuade people from smoking? The cost of the tax would:

… add $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the city, plus 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition, depending on the type. The revenue would be used for gun safety research and gun violence prevention programs.

Just like the taxes added to cigarettes are used only to fund smoking cessation programs?

The city council president denies this is a back-door gun control attempt:

“Our tax legislation that we passed does not in any way control the sale, purchase, possession, or use of firearms,” said City Council President Tim Burgess. “This is done under our taxing authority. And that’s a legal principle that has not yet been tested in Washington law.”

Right.