Seattle Gun Sales Tax Forces Store Owner to Move

Sergey Solyanik at his gun store Precise Shooter on the last day it sold firearms and ammo, Dec. 31, 2015. photo from mynorthwest.com.

With all the new gun laws put on the books in 2015, and possibly some new rules coming from the federal level, there's more and more red tape for gun owners to hack through these days, but even more for gun sellers.

Last August, we reported on the Seattle City Council's approval of a new tax on firearms and ammunition sales in the city limits, charging gun shops $25 on every gun and $.02 on every round of .22LR ammo and $.05 on every round of any other caliber.

We also told you about Sergey Solyanik, the owner of Precise Shooter on Aurora Ave. in Seattle who challenged the city's assertions that the taxes would pay for gun violence prevention programs and pointed out there are only two gun shops in Seattle, including his.

Now, it looks like there's only one. According to this story from mynorthwest.com, Solyanik's shop stopped selling guns and ammo on Jan. 1, when the tax went into effect, and he is moving his shot to Lynwood.

"It would make us unprofitable," he said in the story. "I calculated it by retroactively applying the tax to our existing sales—I'm a software developer, so I can do that—and we would be operating at a loss for the entire store."

In December, a King County judge sided with the city despite opposition from Solyanik and gun advocates, the story says. The judge likened the tax to other taxes on products like cigarettes and alcohol.

"We are all disappointed," Solyanik said in the story. "We feel that, basically, a crockpot (sic) politician was trying to buttress his 'progressive' credentials and we got run over.

"In fact, there will be a net loss for this city. This location brings in roughly $50,000 in sales tax revenue, so that is all going to be gone next year. And there is not going to be any revenue from the (gun) tax."

Precise Shooter will remain open selling cleaning supplies and other gear, but no firearms or ammunition. It will close when Solyanik gets his business license approved for the new store.

"People who shoot up people in the streets — they don't come here to get guns. They get them on the streets," Solyanik said. "It's just collective punishment for all of us."