Seattle Proposes Sin Type Tax on Gun Owners


tax in scrabble

City Council President Tim Burgess has proposed a tax on every firearm and round of ammo sold in the city, which would be used to fund gun violence prevention programs.

The tax, which would amount to $25 on each modern firearm and 5 cents on each round of ammunition, is expected to skim as much as a $500,000 per year from the wallets of gun owners, the Seattle Times reports. This figure would be in addition to the various state and local retail taxes that approach 9.6 percent in the city already.

“Gun violence is very expensive,” Burgess said, noting that the city covered more than $12 million at public hospitals last year related to shooting injuries. “It’s time for the gun industry to help defray those costs and this is a very reasonable way to do it.”

Besides the tax, Burgess is also proposing an ordinance that would require firearms lost or stolen to be reported to the police under threat of a $500 fine.

Washington state gun control advocates who backed a controversial ballot initiative last year that expanded background checks to virtually all firearms transfers, supports the new proposals.

“We often attach taxes to things that cause harm to our communities and we know that guns are causing harm,” said Zach Silk, campaign manager with the Washington Alliance for Gun Safety.

However, gun rights advocates warn that Seattle’s scheme may conflict with the state’s preemption laws, which hold that local governments cannot implement regulations on firearms in excess of the state’s own codes. City attorneys argue they are prepared to defend the ordinances, and cite preemption does not cover increases in taxation.

Gun industry groups may tend to disagree with that analysis. Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, explained to that Seattle’s move could be interpreted as a direct attempt to usurp the civil rights of gun owners.

“The NSSF will vigorously oppose this misguided attempt to blame the lawful and regulated commerce in firearm and ammunition products for the violent acts of criminal,” Keane said. “The proposed tax is nothing but a poll tax on the exercise of a fundamental civil liberty protected by the Second Amendment.”

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, told Wednesday that his group may also see the city in court if the proposal becomes law.

“It looks like we will get to sue Seattle again and notch another win,” said Gottlieb. “We have already sued them under the Washington preemption law and won before. They make winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time fun!”

The move in Seattle is not the first time that lawmakers have proposed to raise money from arbitrary tax increases on guns and ammo.

Earlier this year a Missouri state representative introduced legislation in the wake of the Ferguson Riots mandating all police wear body cameras paid for through a special sales tax on munitions. Proposed “sin taxes” on ammo was further unsuccessfully pursued in Illinois and Capitol Hill in recent years.


Once again, the brainiacs in Seattle are punishing the wrong people – the lawful gun owners who’ve committed no crime.

Tim Burgess said…“It’s time for the gun industry to help defray those costs and this is a very reasonable way to do it.” To take the position that a tax on firearms and ammunition in ANY way comes from the “gun industry” rather than the pockets of consumers sums up Burgess’ complete lack of understanding of (and/or refusal to acknowledge) basic economics. This is agenda-driven politics plain and simple.

Not only would his proposal affect the citizens, but the gun shops will feel it as well, because anyone with an ounce of brains will go outside the city to make their next purchase. I’d bet Burgess will be hearing from them before this is over.


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9 Responses to Seattle Proposes Sin Type Tax on Gun Owners

  1. Hardnox says:

    The left is so super-glued on stupid that it defies understanding.

    Here’s another nitwit looking for his 15 minutes of fame that will produce no results then later another law will be introduced.

    • Kathy says:

      Yep, and his sidekick is no smarter – he said “We often attach taxes to things that cause harm to our communities…” Someone tell him guns don’t pay taxes.

  2. BrianR says:

    As usual, leftist “ideas” reek of abject stupidity.

    Any savvy gun owner will avoid the ammo tax by buying his ammo on-line, and having it delivered like pizza.

    I do it all the time. Not only avoid any local taxes, but save a helluva lot of money on the basic price, too.

  3. Uriel says:

    I’m thinking given the HUGE concentration of sanctuary cities there, that the gun owners Need those guns. Additionally those cities are receiving a Lot of refugees and have a lot of Islamics

    • Kathy says:

      True Uriel, and their left-wing government is doing everything they can to take them away. They desperately need someone that has common sense in charge.

  4. If you pay this tax or complain, you are admitting you have a gun. Don’t ask, don’t tell and pay cash for ammo.Don’t let them in your house without a warrant.

  5. Garnet92 says:

    If only there was a Utopia where Unicorns frolicked beneath perpetual rainbows and where all farts smelled like lilacs, those who inhabit Seattle would put their creative brainpower to use lowering taxes on businesses thereby creating jobs instead of co-opting the decades-old leftist Holy Grail of politics, control of guns and gun owners. Apparently, the salt air corrodes the connections between synapses and they can’t think logically with misfiring synapses.