Judge: Seattle Must Disclose ‘Gun Violence Tax’ Revenue Figures

Seattle is eating crow this week after a judge ruled that the city must release the figures showing how much revenue was generated by the unpopular “gun violence tax.”

King County Superior Court Judge Lori K. Smith said that the city had to comply with the request to release the data per the state’s Public Records Act (PRA).

City leaders were apparently stalling on publishing the numbers because the $25-per-gun and 5-cent-per-round tax has been an epic failure.

Passed unanimously by the city council in the summer of 2015, not only has the tax failed to generate the $300,000 to $500,000 dollars that proponents promised but it’s also failed to reduce gun violence, which was its ultimate objective.

SEE ALSO: Seattle Gun Store Pulling up Stakes in Protest of New Gun, Ammo Tax

In fact, data from the Seattle Police Department shows that shooting injuries have increased by 37 percent and that gun-related deaths have doubled in Seattle since the bill went into effect.

The Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation in conjunction with its publication TheGunMag.com filed the PRA lawsuit against the city.

“We are delighted with the outcome of this case,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, who is also the publisher of TheGunMag.com. “It was silly for Seattle to withhold this information, but we’re pretty certain why the city did it. The council was told that this tax could generate between $300,000 and a half-million dollars, but now it appears the city has collected just over $100,000, which is an embarrassing shortfall.

“As a result,” he added, “the city has essentially lost money on this scheme because now they have to pay our attorney fees, plus a small penalty. On top of that, the city has lost tax revenue because one major gun dealer has moved out of the city and another has reported considerable sales losses. That is tax money the city will never realize.”

Judge Smith awarded SAF a nominal penalty of $377, which amounts to one dollar per day since the lawsuit was filed last year.

SAF, along with the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is also suing to have the tax altogether thrown out.  So far, tTheir suit resulted in a ruling from Superior Court Judge Palmer Rubinson that upheld the ordinance as a “lawful exercise of Seattle’s taxing authority.”

But SAF has appealed that ruling.

“We are confident that the appeals court will see this tax… as a form of gun control that is prohibited under Washington State’s 33-year old preemption statute,” said Gottlieb. “It is unconscionable for Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to codify what amounts to social bigotry against firearms retailers and their customers. State law prevents cities from passing laws that govern firearms regulation, including sales.”

“Seattle gun owners will simply travel outside the city to make their purchases,” Gottlieb noted. “This tax will actually cost the city revenue, and affect retailers through lost sales. We’re going to the Court of Appeals for review because it is the right thing to do.”

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Jay August 5, 2017, 8:50 am

    Until we address all the mental illness we will continue to have a problem, I mean come on just look at our government!!!

  • Al Butler August 4, 2017, 10:32 am

    Mark Glaze throws out untrue facts during this interview that gun control proponents rally around. When confronted with the truth he does admit ( in a very offhanded fashion ) “you’re right” in regard to the gun confiscation that took place in Australia as well as the weapon used to shoot Congressman Scalise being a “high capacity semi-automatic handgun”. While it was reported he had a handgun in his possession the weapon used to shoot the congressman was a 7.62 SKS.
    Having been guilty of embellishing the truth myself from time to time I find it reprehensible to alter facts either to make a point, sway opinion or try to take the moral high ground by spreading lies or half truths.

  • Travis August 4, 2017, 8:50 am

    I would just get on GA and purchase my firearm online. Pay a transfer fee when they run a background check. It is what I do here. I have a store that does not sell firearms, but the owner has a FFL.

  • Infidel762x51 August 4, 2017, 7:57 am

    Seattle does not care about the tax revenue. They don’t care if they lost revenue with this ordinance. It achieved it’s intended goal, it drove gun dealers out of the city.

  • Mark N. August 2, 2017, 12:55 am

    I have to agree with SAF: the purpose of the tax was not to fund “gun violence” research, nor was it to reduce “gun violence” in Seattle. It is stunningly slap my head obvious that an additional $25 fee to purchase a handgun will simply buyers to dealers outside Seattle city limits. therefore, the tax was in fact and in effect an effort to force the only two gun stores in town out of business or at least out of town. For that purpose, it is working; the problem is that it is not a legitimate purpose.

  • SuperG August 1, 2017, 10:57 am

    You can’t decrease “gun” violence by passing a law, unless that law says anyone convicted of a violent act must endure a 3 day mandatory psychiatric evaluation. You see, the problem isn’t with inanimate objects, it is with people. If we do not identify and treat the mentally ill, nothing will change.

    • Lloyd Dumas August 4, 2017, 6:34 am

      I could not said it better. Unless we address the problems with the mental health nothing changes.

    • The Equalizer August 4, 2017, 7:39 am

      SuperG; Very well said. Thanks.

    • Hass August 4, 2017, 8:31 am

      Who gets to say who is “mentally ill”? How do you accurately define mental illness? If cured from mental illness, would you then be able to reevaluate and get your 2a right back? Where would disqualifications for mental illness stop? If you do something dumb at age 10 that counts as “mental illness”, would you be disqualified for life from your 2a right?

      I think mental illness is far to broad of a brush to use to take away they’re right to self defense. Should it be used as a gauge, definitely. But anything that can be used easily by the state for mass disarmament, will be used and therefore shouldn’t be taken lightly. I say that if someone has mental illness, then a judge should have to grant a limited injunction on that persons 2a right with a review after time… And the same should be applied to all laws that disarm people.

    • Leighton Cavendish August 4, 2017, 2:33 pm

      ADHD and OCD and PTSD…autism… are all mental illnesses…correct?

    • Leighton Cavendish August 4, 2017, 2:36 pm

      depression…bipolar…etc etc etc…
      Where do you draw the line?
      Who gets to decide?
      Do you also take away the right to vote? How about driving? Having kids?

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