Seattle shootings have increased by 30% since the imposition of a city-wide gun tax, according to local news station KOMO TV. In August 2015, the Seattle city council imposed a $25 tax on firearms and a 5 cent tax on ammunition.
As reported by KOMO:
The city has seen a 17 percent increase in the number of police calls about shots fired compared with last year. Thirty-five people have been shot in Seattle so far this year — a 30 percent increase.
The city refuses to disclose how much revenue the gun tax has generated, saying only that it has raised “less than $200,000.” Before its passage, the city claimed the tax would squeeze $300,000 to $500,000 from citizens purchasing guns.
As reported by Fox News, the tax revenue amount could be much lower:
Seattle officials refuse to say how much the tax brought in the first year, only giving the number “under $200,000.” Gun rights groups have sued to get the exact amount.
But 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.”
The hefty taxes are driving gun shop owners out of the city. One businessman, Sergey Solyanik, was forced to close his shop and move 18 miles away to Lynnwood, Washington. Solyanik told local news website MyNorthwest, “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.”
“The Left is now weaponizing tax policy in its drive to destroy the Second Amendment rights of all Americans,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
The Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth, previously enacted a $1,000 gun tax, but a federal judge struck down the provision. The judge ruled, “The government need not arm the poor, but it cannot impose uncommon burdens on their ability to exercise their fundamental constitutional rights.”
As pointed out by Americans for Tax Reform throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton endorsed a 25% national gun tax. “I’m all for that. I just don’t know what else we’re going to do to try to figure out how to get some handle on this violence,” she said in testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in 1993. In June 2016 ABC’s George Stephanopoulos played the video of her endorsement and ask for her response. Clinton refused to disavow her gun tax endorsement.
The Seattle gun tax not only infringes upon Americans’ Second Amendment rights, it shows the futility of the progressive left’s view of taxation.
Photo credit: Andrew Malone