‘Gun Violence Tax’ Has Opposite Effect

President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation Larry Keane recently pinned a scathing dismissal of Seattles “Gun Violence Tax.” This tax was passed back in 2015 and assesses are large fee on the sale of firearms and ammunition. Seattle lawmakers had hoped this ill-advised tax would curb firearm violence. The money produced from the new taxes would then be used to study gun violence and try to combat it. Though noble in theory, the tax law has had just the opposite effect, as Mr. Keane shows:

Seattle’s Gun and Ammunition Tax Isn’t Working, as Violence Surges

In 2015, Seattle’s City Council passed a “gun violence tax“. In so doing, the council members decided that it would be fine to assess law-abiding gun owners $25 per gun and up to five cents per round of ammunition purchased within the city limits. These elected officials promised their citizens they would raise $500 million for efforts to study and counter violence within the city.
So what has happened? Well, as NSSF and our partner organizations in fighting the tax predicted at the outset, lawfully operating businesses left the city.

Councilman Tim Burgess, who was instrumental is getting this tax passed, said he wanted to wait until it was in effect for a full year before releasing any revenue number. But we have now passed that anniversary, and city politicos are still refusing to report how much money the tax has actually raised. The logical conclusion is that they haven’t come anywhere close to meeting their goal, and are trying to avoid the public embarrassment of admitting failure.

Most firearms retailers have now exited Seattle. Individuals who want to purchase a gun or ammunition simply drive outside the city limits to avoid wasting hard-earned money on a punitive tax. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this bothers Seattle’s ruling elite. Driving legally operating firearm retailers out of business, or at least out of the out of the city, seems to have been the real unspoken goal.
Criminals, by and large, do not submit themselves to a background check and purchase guns from licensed retailers. Since the gun tax was put into effect, violence has surged in Seattle — mostly attributed to criminal gang activity.

If this tax isn’t raising money and isn’t keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, what then is its purpose? Maybe it appeases the “do-something” sensibilities of the political class that does not know how or does not want to step up to the serious underlying causes of urban violence.

For its part, the Seattle City Council members aren’t talking about what isn’t working. We will.

Does Seattle’s “gun violence tax” surprise you? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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44 Comments On This Article

  1. Honestly, who expected anything else? They drive firearms dealers out of “their” city and create a slush fund to push their agenda. Consistent and persistent lies by the antis go on regardless of facts and truth. After making a mess of Cali too many left for the Northwest and are succeeding in making the whole west coast equally a haven for drugs, gangs, and oppressive government while disarming the sheeple.

  2. A bunch of liberal idiots, and their stupid laws. This was a intrusion on our 2nd amendment rights. They should move out of the US if they don’t like our Constitution. 🔫

  3. Thanks for this article on this sensitive subject. As usual politicians fire up the public and spread fear to pass a stupid law like this. Of course the firearms and ammo dealers and the public looking to buy firearms and ammo moved out of Seattle and into the nearby suburbs and cities around Seattle. These quick out of fear laws always fail. The only question is when will the Seattle politicians face reality and admit it

  4. These idiots need to look at places like the septic tank of America, Chicago Illinois. Some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S. and the highest murder rates. Why? …. Criminals will get guns no matter the tax rates …… now that is funny. Seattle is no exception. Just ask Rahm Emmanuel….. oh I forgot he will lie with other statistics . Ask Daly oh I forgot he will lie with other statistics. Ask the criminals.

    • That is absolutely right Peggy. All that is required is an Open Records Request or Freedom of Information request filed with the City Clerk. They are required by law to answer that request within 10 days.

  5. It was never about guns and crime. Rather it was all about adding another revenue stream by taxing “evil” things like cigarettes and liquor. More money for the corrupt politicians to steal for their pet projects from a source no one would dare complain about. After all, it was going to reduce crime.

  6. Seattle, California……………new state capital …….the whole West Coast is one big… going broke state……and some of the most beautiful country in the world……shame….shame….

  7. They seem to have an insatiable appetite for imposing taxes and an unfettered hatred of, and contempt for, the Second Amendment.

  8. Political credo of emotionalists and scaredy cats.

    (Don’t Confuse Me With The Facts, I have My Mind Made Up)

  9. This is another example of how these “eletist” politicians continue to give the voting public the finger after they get elected. Did any of these unics ever think to ask their constituents what they wanted? Not likley. Once they get elected, it’s “I know better than you do”.I used to be very pro civil service but in the last 20 years or so I have gone the other direction. None of my weapons are registered and I stay under the radar as much as humanly possible.this country was won by citizen soldiers, not government authorized soldiers. They were the ones who lost the war, remember?

  10. I am not surprised at anything they would do. As a resident of the area, I refuse to purchase anything, or travel into Seattle for any reason. Hell, it’s like the wild west with all the shootings in that city.

    • And it’s not just Seattle! Portland, OR is the same way. People from Cali moving to Oregon and Washington and messin’ up those beautiful states as well.

  11. Force Recon Marine

    There is no such thing as “Gun Violence” It’s simply VIOLENCE Gun Violence is a Politically Correct tool to cause dissent Political Correctness is a manipulative tool employed by the left for centralizing power to end all debate on all subjects frowned upon by the one dimensional regressive lieberal left!! That way they needn’t have to have the means to defend their agenda just employ the standard deflective tools ingrained in the vacuum between their ears!!

    Political Correctness leads to lawlessness

    Political Correctness is the antithesis/reciprocal of reality Those employing Political Correctness are COWARDS afraid to face reality!!!

    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

    Political Correctness is meant to silence those who disagree with one dimensional regressive hypocritical politically correct socialist-communist lieberal doctrine/tenet!!

    Politically correct language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, alleviate stigmas, and to give an appearance of solidity to hot air .pure wind.

    For our one dimensional regressive hypocritical politically correct lieberal friends, political correctness is more important than life itself, although our one dimensional regressive hypocritical politically correct lieberal friends who provide comfort and support to Islam fail to realize that if no one is alive, then there will be no one left to grandstand their political correctness to.

    Wiley’s Dictionary Silence the logical conclusion of politically correct speech.

    Again We don’t have a gun problem we have hearts without God, homes without discipline, schools without prayer, and courts without justice

  12. Typical liberal politicians that don’t have a clue as to what is going on. And I’d bet that all the liberals in Seattle think they are much safer because the gun stores aren’t in town anymore. Someone should really push those politicians to report exactly how much money they raised and exactly what they did with it. We’ll probably never find out.

  13. I live in colorado and our stupid law makers passed a couple of laws that has done nothing but cost the state millions of dollars! I thought our law makers were supposed to be smart but they keep proving me wrong !

  14. more government stupidity being shoved down the throats of law abiding people. Then the lies start flowing from the very representatives that we elected to office. AND more money that is unaccounted for. When the hell will America wake the hell up ???????

  15. Typical of how completely all Liberal driven anti-gun laws fail to prevent crime and violence. All they do is make citizens bigger victims. Fools, elected by fools, and governing fools.

    • Democrats learn? You really shouldn’t use those terms in the same sentence! When you’re “always right”, failure is somebody else’s fault, you know?

      • Well said. Demos, libs, lefties all cannot admit error so they keep pushing the same buttons, hoping for a different result. Ever stepped into an elevator and the guy in front of you pushes “3” (or whatever floor he wants to get to) several times, as if this will make the elevator go faster? hahaha

    • There to stupid to learn anything…anything they do has nothing to do with making anybody safer , its about taking as many guns away from as people as possible…which only affects law bidding people cuz criminals dont give a damn…there for crime goes up not down , been proven over n over again but its not about making people safer now is it

  16. I would like to know where Seattle’s Gov’t and Police buy ammo and guns, bet it’s not from any of Seattle’s taxed companies.

  17. It amazes me that they call it gun violence but never r refer to stabbings as knife violence or when these terrorist use vehicles as car or truck violence. When will the liberal left t figure out the truth. My guess is never or until they have brought on another civil war in this country

  18. “At least they did something, even if it’s wrong”! Famous last words of progressive/liberals. Ideology never solves problems but, it doesn’t stop fools from trying. The ignorance of reality has never stopped ideologues from spreading their “pie-in-the-sky” illusions.

    • A very small number of politicians believe their edicts will do what they say they’ll do, but by far the majority see it as a way to disincentivize the lawful citizenry from exercising their 2A right.

  19. The only right guaranteed by todays 2nd Amendment is right to own a gun for hunting, sport or protecting one persoal assets or ass.
    Psssage of this taxing reulation had far more to do with city governments overspending on employees and newer office infrastucture.
    For one thing no restrictions, not even limited riders, were placed upon Seattle citizens gun owners ability to defend oneself or made it harder to purchase a legal weapon.
    Washington State, unlike many other states, has a Constitution guaranteeing Right to own: As an aside point, it also bans as un -constitutional a state income tax.

    Come now, 5 cents a round and a mere $25 buck added to purchase;
    that is one he.. of a lot less than our Patriotic store owners and online suppliers gouged us during lack of ready access to ammo and fear of
    loss of availability of black guns.
    Buy a weapon on line and at over 100 gun shops in the Sea/Tac/Oly corridor and clear to apex of western side Cascade mountain villages
    and pay from $23-60 for transfer.
    As to increase in violent crimes, there are far higher percentages of such violent events in damn near all, except the surrouning gated communites, municipalities.
    Not saying much of Seattle governance is not what some down in Dixieland call liberal but lets not be raising the rabble by over hype.

  20. There isn’t a technology that can discern the real cause of crime – which is the demented mind of the criminal. When people have no respect for others, they will do things they deem best for themselves at whatever cost there may be. Whether a thug on the street, a council member in the city, a secretary of state or a president with questionable origins – they all have a lack of reverence for God and other people.
    Until those types are sorted out and excluded from humanity, there will be no way to effectively control any kind of violence or crimes against the decent folks or the helpless.