Seattle: Gun Tax Curbs Firearm Sales, Violence On Rise

Not only has gun violence surged since the tax went into effect, but it has also brought in far less revenue than expected.
Not only has gun violence surged since the tax went into effect, but it has also brought in far less revenue than expected.web photo

Back in July 2015, we reported that Seattle was passing a new tax on guns and ammunition in the city that was expected to generate $500,000 a year, which would be used to fund gun-violence-prevention programs and research.

The tax imposed is $25 for each firearm sold and 4 cents on each round of ammunition.

In March of this year, we reported that the city was continually refusing to disclose how much money it is making from the gun and ammo tax since it has been in place.

Now this story from foxnews.com says since the tax went into effect, not only has gun violence surged in the city, but it has also brought in far less revenue than expected.

"How much data do you need?" said Dave Workman, senior editor of thegunmag.com in the story. "The data says the law has failed to prevent what they promised it would prevent."

The tax was introduced by City Councilman Tim Burgess and easily passed before it took effect on January 1, 2016.

“Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.”

The only figure Seattle officials released on how much the tax brought in during its first hear was "under $200,000" the story says.

The story says guns rights groups have sued to get the exact amount.

Mike Coombs, owner of Outdoor Emporium, the only gun dealer left in Seattle, said the actual revenue is more likely just over $100,000, based on information the city has shared with his attorneys.

Sales in his store are down 20 percent while gun sales alone have dropped 60 percent.

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

Most figure gun owners are simply going outside city limits to buy firearms and ammunition to avoid the tax.

The owner of Precise Shooter, Sergey Solyanik, moved his shop to nearby Lynnwood when the tax went into effect. In the story, Solyanik says business has never been better.

But the fact that there’s no money coming in from the gun tax hasn’t stopped the city from spending a pile of money on “gun violence prevention.”

The story says Seattle has dipped into its general fund to support the gun violence research study at Harborview Medical Center Seattle to the tune of $550,000 for a study "aimed at connecting gunshot victims with social services in hopes of not seeing them in the emergency room again."

Workman says in the story that he doesn’t criticize the study, but says the city council should have predicted the results of the gun tax, in that gun dealers would leave the city.

"All these gun control laws affect the wrong people," Workman said in the story. "The gang bangers don't go in and buy ammunition at retail, at least not around here. It certainly hasn't stopped them from getting their hands on firearms."