Wednesday will be an interesting day locally and nationally for Second Amendment activists who will be watching how the Seattle City Council handles a proposed gun and ammunition tax – which one anti-gun reader doesn’t think goes far enough in this morning’s Seattle Times on-line news – and for patriot groups watching the launch of the military’s controversial “Jade Helm” training exercise across several Southwest states, as noted by the New York Times.
Question: Should American gun owners face a federal law that slaps a $250 tax on every round of ammunition, with provisions that ammunition could only be purchased from registered dealers and that anyone “caught with unregistered ammo, found with reloaded ammo or homemade ammo will be charged with a felony?” That’s what one Seattle Times reader who calls himself “JesusisBackAgain” proposed in a comment early this morning in response to the story about the gun tax that appeared over the weekend.
Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess wouldn’t dare to push that extreme. But he does want to slap a $25 tax on the sale of every firearm in the city, and a nickel apiece for every round of ammunition. Another proposal would require reporting to police, within 24 hours, the loss or theft of a firearm, with fines up to $500 for not doing so.
UPDATE: Opponents of the tax proposal now have their own Facebook page. It may be accessed here.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, has alerted its members in an e-mail “blast” and encouraged them to flood the city council with comments. Whether that pays off, or the council decides to buck the industry and see if the Second Amendment Foundation is bluffing when it promises a lawsuit if the gun tax passes.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb wasn’t bluffing the last time he threatened to sue the city. Why anyone would think he’s not serious this time around defies common sense, since SAF, the National Rifle Association and their colleagues in the last lawsuit won hands down.
The council’s education and governance committee will take up the proposal Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. It could be a packed audience, although gun owners may all be at work.
That session will open as the military is cranking up Jade Helm 15, the exercise that has conspiracy theorists ramping up the volume across the Internet. In yesterday’s New York Times, the piece that alluded to this exercise was ostensibly about the patriot/militia movement that has grown since the Waco conflagration in 1993. Although more than 20 years have passed since that disaster, memories linger about government heavy-handedness.
Headlined “Memories of Waco Siege Continue to Fuel Far-Right Groups,” the NYTimes story is accompanied by a 14-minute video that delves into the Waco story and the more recent confrontation in Nevada with rancher Cliven Bundy. It also mentions the Ruby Ridge fiasco in Northern Idaho, and how militias have been organized as a result of those events.
Meanwhile, the viewpoint expressed in this morning’s Seattle Times comment section allows readers a look inside the mind of an extremist anti-gunner. It would require a lot of tinfoil headgear to give that proposal any merit, but the Burgess gun tax plan is a reality that some feel is just a harbinger of things to come.
Wednesday could be interesting, indeed. Then, again, it may be much ado about nothing.
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