On Monday, the National Rifle Association announced that it, along with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation, filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle, Washington, over a gun tax signed into law by Mayor Ed Murray. Murray claimed the tax will “undoubtedly save lives,” but the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups say it violates state law.
“Once again, anti-gun activists in Seattle have chosen to violate the Washington State Constitution and trample upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “They tried to enact similar regulations back in 2009 and lost. It’s a shame to see such a waste of public resources on issues the courts have already ruled to be a clear violation of state law.”
“We’ve been down this path before with Seattle when we sued them and won, knocking out their attempt to ban guns in city park facilities,” added Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the SAF. “The city does not seem to understand that no matter how they wrap this package, it’s still a gun control law and it violates Washington’s long-standing preemption statute.”
“NSSF has no alternative but to be an active party in this lawsuit against the City of Seattle’s attempt to interfere in the lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition on the grounds that it violates Washington State’s preemption statute that blocks cities from regulating the sale of firearms on their own.” Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, added. “The Seattle ordinance is nothing but a ‘poll tax’ on the Second Amendment and an effort to drive Seattle’s firearms retailers out of business.”
According to the Seattle Times, the new law, set to go into effect next January, levies a $25 tax per gun purchased. It also establishes a 2 or 5 cent tax for every round of ammunition purchased. The money raised will allegedly be used for gun-violence-prevention research and programs, the Times added. Twitchy said that means the money will certainly “be funneled to anti-gun groups.”
According to the Times, there were only 22 licensed gun sellers in Seattle when the measure was being crafted. Most of those, Daniel Beekman added, “are either pawnshops or individuals serving as middlemen for Internet firearms sales.” But will the tax really do anything to curb gun violence?
In 2012 Chicago adopted the exact same gun tax law, the Times said. But, Breitbart.com added, the homicide rate increased, despite the intentions of city lawmakers. A full year after the tax was enacted, the Chicago Times reported 434 deaths – an increase of 19 deaths over the previous year. Worse yet, USA Today said that the homicide rate jumped “19 percent” while “shooting incidents” rose “21 percent” in the first six months of 2015.