Although Seattle’s gun tax was supposed to bring in $300,000 to $500,000, it’s brought in less than $200,000.  The money was supposed to be used to “study” gun violence and to somehow lower the cost to taxpayers for gun violence.

It didn’t turn out that way, and Seattle ended up forking out taxpayer money from the general fund for the “study.”  Meanwhile, small business owners have shuttered their Seattle gun shops, causing employees to lose their jobs.  Furthermore, Seattle police report that gun violence has sharply increased.

The tax took effect in January of 2016, and includes a $25 tax on each gun purchase and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition.

The Seattle Times reported last April:

In Seattle — where the city collects a $25 tax on every gun sale and between 2 cents and a nickel on every round of ammunition, depending on the caliber . . . .

The $300,000 to $500,000 the tax is expected to raise this year is earmarked to fund a study of gunshot victims, including medical and behavioral interventions, by the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center’s trauma center, which treats most of the city’s gunshot victims.

Predictably, gun sales have gone down in Seattle, with people simply leaving the city to purchase their firearms, but the result is the loss of jobs for gun shop employees in Seattle.

Fox News reports:

When the City of Seattle passed a tax on all sales of guns and ammunition, the measure was hailed as a way to defray the rising costs of gun violence.

But since the tax took effect, those costs have only risen as gun violence in the city has surged. And the tax has apparently brought in much less than city leaders projected it would.

“How much data do you need?” asked Dave Workman, senior editor of and member of the Second Amendment Foundation. “The data says the law has failed to prevent what they promised it would prevent.”

. . . . Mike Coombs, owner of Outdoor Emporium, the last large gun dealer left in Seattle, said the actual tax revenue is almost certainly just over $100,000, a figure based on information he says the city shared with his lawyers.

Coombs said storewide, sales are down 20 percent while gun sales have plummeted 60 percent.

“I’ve had to lay off employees because of this,” Coombs said. “It’s hurting us, it’s hurting our employees.”

Employees at the Big 5 sporting goods stores in Seattle also report anemic gun sales. But there’s evidence Seattleites are just going outside the city to buy their guns. Coombs also owns a gun shop in the nearby city of Fife. Sales there are described as robust.

Another gun dealer simply left Seattle and moved his shop, Precise Shooter, to nearby Lynnwood. Sergey Solyanik said business has never been better. He said the gun tax has probably worked out to be a net negative for Seattle when factoring lost sales tax revenue.

As if that’s not bad enough, the Seattle police department reported a “significant rise” in gun violence this year.

K5 reported last month:

New numbers released by the Seattle Police Department on Wednesday show a significant rise in gun violence this year.

According to the report, there have been 155 reports of shots fired so far in 2017. That’s more than any other year by this time. In 2016, there were 132 reports in the entire year.

The majority of those reports, 72 of the 155, occurred in the South Precinct.

There have been 35 confirmed shootings so far, which is eight more than in all of 2016. Of the 35 people shot in Seattle in 2017, six appear to be true innocent/unintended victims.

The purported goals of the gun tax were spectacularly not met, but don’t expect Seattle to change their policy.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.