Washington State Supreme Court upholds Seattle’s gun tax
The tax will stay. And so will the shootings because we know a tax has nothing to do with folks picking up a gun and shooting someone, whether during a criminal act or especially in self defense.
From MyNorthwest.com: The Washington State Supreme Court has upheld Seattle’s tax on gun and ammunition sales. The 8-1 decision came in a decision issued Thursday morning.
The tax had been challenged by the NRA, local gun rights groups, some gun owners and gun stores in the city who say the tax is illegal because cities aren’t allowed to regulate firearms under state law.
But the city says a tax is different from a regulation. The Supreme Court agreed.
Seattle passed its gun tax in August 2015. It was aimed at funding gun-violence prevention, research and other programs to mitigate the public costs of gun-related crimes. The effort was spearheaded by Councilmember Tim Burgess. It places a $25 tax on guns sold in Seattle, as well as up to a 5-cent fee on each round.
However, the city hasn’t taken in nearly as much revenue from the tax as originally predicted (as I reported in March). Supporters on the council expected as much as $500,000 in revenue; in May, the city had collected less than $200,000.
Meanwhile, shootings continue, though some would argue a recent crackdown has reduced some of the gun violence. There were 36 shootings and four fatalities in the first five months of 2017. Reports of shots fired rose to 155 by May 15 – 11 more than the same time in 2015, and 23 more than this time last year.
As of July 31, the number of reported shots fired this year was 237.