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Seattle City Council Voting on “Gun Violence” Tax Monday

Seattle City Council Voting on “Gun Violence” Tax Monday

“Gun control politics is not a spectator sport”

As I’ve noted previously, “If the gun grabbers can’t repeal the Second Amendment or get laws passed to infringe on our right to bear arms, they’ll simply tax guns and ammo until we can no longer afford to buy guns or use the ones we have.  At least that is their hope.”

And it’s full steam ahead in Seattle, where they are moving forward with their “gun violence” tax.  David Workman explains:

The committee voted unanimously [Wednesday] to send the proposal to the full city council for consideration next Monday, according to the Seattle Monday’s vote could set the stage for a legal confrontation, and there were hints that existing gun shops could move out of the city, and that gun owners living in Seattle will simply shop outside the city, thus thwarting any dreams that this tax will generate $300,000 to $500,000 annually for the city’s gun control efforts.

. . . . Another part of the Burgess gun control effort is a second proposed ordinance requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms to police within 24 hours that the theft or loss is discovered. This requirement also appears to go beyond state statute, and thus violate the preemption statute, passed in 1982, strengthened in 1985 and reinforced with the defeat of Seattle’s attempted parks ban three years ago when the state Supreme Court refused to hear Seattle’s appeal after the city lost at trial and at the appeals court.

The NRA argues that this is bad policy.  From the NRA-ILA website:

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.

And there is little doubt that this is indeed social engineering designed to limit Seattle’s citizens’ access to firearms.  As Hot Air explains, this is not a “tax intended to raise revenue for vital services”:

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.

Watch a gun store owning Microsoft engineer from Seattle address the Seattle city council committee:

With the Seattle city council vote coming today, Workman notes that the Seattle decision will have larger implications for Second Amendment rights across the country.  He continues:

Many Second Amendment activists, which include open carry proponents, “constitutional carry” (no license required) advocates, target shooters, hunters and collectors, see what is happening in Seattle as a symptom of a larger problem. Anti-gun liberals, they contend, are pushing in every direction to erode Second Amendment rights and discourage people from exercising the right to keep and bear arms under both federal and dozens of state constitutions.

This is quickly shaping up as a battle in which there can be no sitting on the sidelines. Gun control politics is not a spectator sport.


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An idea so loony, it just might not pass in Seattle.

The NRA should take a coup here, and organize a Saturday bus tour of area ammo and gun stores for those who are transport challenged, in honor of the NRA’s support of the arming of black Americans during Jim Crow.

    TX-rifraph in reply to Ragspierre. | August 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    The minorities will suffer disparate impact with this tax. Should we wait for the DOJ to act?

    Let the buses roll. Good idea.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Ragspierre. | August 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    We need a Stupid Moron Tax on Seattle, Portland, San Fran etc….

    We could pay of the national debt in no time flat – maybe like 2 months!

Taxing ammunition is a terrible idea. It doesn’t hinder criminal gun use – not many shots are fired, and the ammunition may well be stolen to begin with. And it penalizes legal gun owners for practicing with their weapons. If a law-abiding citizen is going to be carrying a gun, I want him to be able to hit what he aims at with that gun.

When are they going to start socking car dealerships and gas stations with a sin tax to cover all damages, injury and death caused by motor vehicles?

I predict a large check being written to 2nd Amendment foundation… the City of Seattle.

Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter, hit the mark with his data correlated to… reality.

“The Friends of Humanity” (todays Progressives) don’t care that “this type of social engineering on the downtrodden is an intended feature of the legislation rather than an unfortunate consequence.” Their Utopia (their “no where”) demands control of you. (“The Friends of Humanity” reference is a chapter title in Roger Kimball’s book “Fortunes of Permanence, The Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia”.

Want to end gun violence? Then, for starters, publicly denounce violent movies and video games-e.g., “Lady Gaga’s Bisexual ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Character Revealed in Sexiest Season Yet”…

[Ryan] “Murphy tells ET that he plans to initiate Gaga with a particularly “disturbing and awful” murder scene with her co-star Bomer, when the show begins filming next week.”

Good thing I went to Gander Mountain this weekend and stocked up on ammo. Who knows when Dick “sack of” Durbin will buy into this folly.

    Jennifer, I like what you said, except for the denouncing of “violent movies and video games.”

    I would agree that our culture has gone very far astray, but it’s too easy to slip into book-burning. I’d sure like to see more support for traditional families; a great deal of our problems stem from single-parent households, usually headed by single females, who can’t bring up children properly because there is no husband and father.

    Welfare, well-intentioned perhaps, is destroying us. It’s exponentially compounded when illegal aliens are getting paid for creating problems!

      I am definitely NOT talking book burning.

      I AM talking about discernment, good judgment and WISDOM. Remember wisdom?

      You or any parent can CHOOSE to NOT watch, purchase and participate in violent movies, and violent video games.

      Denounce violence in your own life and the lives of your children by completely rejecting its subtle numbing influence on the viewer in any form. It is your choice.

      Who or what is babysitting single parent kids (or any parent’s kids) while mom is busy? The TV, the video games, the violent (and sex) filled commercials…

Gun control is basically liberal, big city white people trying to keep guns out of the hands of black people. They are scared to death of blacks living in ghetto areas, but they cannot take the guns away from black people only. It would be patently unconstitutional. The only way to keep these blacks from getting guns is to keep guns from everybody. It hasn’t worked. It will never work. Yet they keep trying.

    DaveGinOly in reply to faboutlaws. | August 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Keeping guns from inner-city blacks – that was the precise purpose of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and executed the way it was for precisely the same reasons. Congress couldn’t make it illegal for blacks to have guns, so they made it more difficult for everyone to get guns, with the greater difficulty falling on certain city-dwellers.

This country seriously needs a divorce. Irreparable differences that are so fundamental that there can never be a cohesive national identity.

It is stories like this that highlight why there can be no compromise. Why should anyone compromise with people that refuse to accept the terms of the compromise?

Anti-gun activists will *never* give up and this mentality isn’t isolated to just anti-gun activism. All progressive politics are the same way.

And progressives wonder why people call them communists. Same mission, different flavor.

might as well have the poll tax reinstated as long as they are taxing rights

In some jurisdictions, it was traditional (I don’t know if it still is – govt’s appetite for revenue is unquenchable) to not tax the sale of newspapers and periodicals, on the principle that the exercise of First Amendment freedoms should be encouraged, rather than discouraged by increased cost to the citizen. Why isn’t this principle applied to firearms, ammunition, and other arms-related accouterments and necessaries? Seattle’s proposal is a punitive tax – the city literally wants law-abiding gun and ammo purchasers to pay for the crimes of others. The push-back here should not merely involve the defeat of the punitive tax, it should aim for the complete elimination of all taxes on firearms, ammunition, and related articles, on the principle that the exercise of a right should be encouraged by government, and certainly not discouraged by it. (Special taxes on firearms and ammunition, above and beyond ordinary sales taxes on the privilege of making a sale at retail, are also unconstitutional because they impose a tax or fee specifically – and not merely generally as an ordinary sales tax – upon the exercise of a constitutionally-guaranteed right.)

The power to tax is the power to destroy. When government exercises its authority to tax (for the raising of revenue) with the intent of destroying, it is abusing its authority to tax, and shouldn’t be allowed to do so, no matter the subject of the tax or the purpose of the subject’s destruction.

    Milhouse in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 10, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    It’s my understanding that first-amendement-protected material may only be taxed and regulated at the lowest level applied to similar goods and services. For instance, the courts have ruled that since New York City allows veterans to sell things on the street without a permit, it must extend the same privilege to anyone selling first-amendment-protected material such as books, art, and religious objects. If the exemption for veterans were removed, then the city could close down all the street book sellers too.

    The normal sales tax can be applied to such material, but no more. I have never been anywhere in the USA where there is a sales tax but not for books.

    I agree with you that the same principle ought to apply to guns and ammunition; they can be subject to the normal sales tax that applies to all similar goods, e.g. hardware, but any higher rate of tax would violate the second amendment.

Why don’t they analyze who it is that’s committing crimes in Seattle and take measures to discourage those people from living in the city? As over half of the crime in the USA is committed by 6% of the population, the ghetto gangster class, it should be easy to reduce the crime rate significantly. The solution is to pass a law stopping all forms of welfare for able bodied people so they are forced to leave or find jobs.

Insufficiently Sensitive | August 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Anti-gun liberals, they contend, are pushing in every direction to erode Second Amendment rights and discourage people from exercising the right to keep and bear arms

That’s a weak formulation of the problem. What the anti-gun groupthinkers wish to do is to punish the lawful gun-owning population by all legal and quasi-legal means available.

This tax is insignificant, and the grabbers are not ignorant of that fact. Their object is not the crudely estimated increase in City income, it’s the bother and inconvenience they want inflicted on the lawful ownership and trade in firearms and ammunition. They wish to convict those owners and traders, without trial nor due process, of undefined transgressions, and to punish them by sniveling lawfare for perfectly legal behavior.

Hinted, hell. I all but screamed at that useless jackwagon Burgess when I got one of his regular emails about all that he was going to do for me because he’s just such a noble guy. I told him that businesses would close or move and this would accomplish absolutely nothing, but no one on the Silly Council is going to care about that.

In the meantime, the police are hamstrung by the Justice Department and everyone is so terrified of being called “racist” that no one will do anything about crime in this ridiculous city.

Just got back from a weekend in Missoula. And brought with e 300-400 rounds of ammo, and some targets. It was maybe 100 miles, and I bought there because it is at least $5 a box more here. Which is to say that for someone living even closer to cheap guns and ammo, the answer is even easier. Guns in particular, given their cost in comparison with ammunition. Sure, some people will pay the extra, but a lot of people are going to drive outside te city limits – sometimes even on general principles, even if there isn’t a monetary reason to do so.