Judge upholds Seattle's 'gun violence tax'

A King Country Superior Court judge has upheld a controversial tax on firearms and ammunition, denying a motion by the National Rifle Association that the legislation violates state law.

The so-called "gun violence tax" opens up a new front in the fight for Second Amendment rights. Chicago is the only other municipality in the country with a specific tax on guns and ammo.

Seattle says the money raised from the tax will go to "gun safety research and prevention programs" in the city.

Reuters:

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a "gun violence tax" on sellers of firearms and ammunition in August, directing proceeds toward violence prevention programs and research beginning in January 2016.

A companion measure requires gun owners to report cases of lost and stolen firearms to police.

On Tuesday, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson denied a request by gun rights groups for an injunction, saying the tax did not violate state law and was a "lawful exercise of Seattle's taxing authority."

The National Rifle Associations (NRA) and other pro-gun groups vowed to appeal against the ruling, maintaining that the tax does not comply with a Washington state law that bars municipalities from creating their own gun regulations.

They also said the tax would hurt small gun dealers, with customers driving to other retailers outside the city limits to avoid the tax.

"We are going to fight this vigorously in defense of a state preemption law that has served Washington citizens well for more than three decades," said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the pro-gun rights group Second Amendment Foundation.

The only other municipality in the country with an individual tax on gun sales is Chicago, according to the NRA.

Under the new Seattle law, gun sellers will be taxed $25 for every gun sold plus 2 or 5 cent taxes on each round of ammunition.

Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess said the tax was a "legitimate and appropriate way to raise revenue for gun safety research and prevention programs" in the city.

"Judge Robinson saw through the NRA’s distorted efforts to put gun industry profits ahead of public safety," Burgess said in a statement.

Back door gun control efforts like this are being fought in several states. In this case, the judge completely ignored state law in favor of a made up justification by the city of Seattle that the intent of the law was not to legislate against firearms.

Raising the cost of a weapon by $25 is as much a form of gun control as limiting sales of firearms, but the judge pretended that wasn't the case. The tax may be overturned on appeal, but liberal judges, anxious to put their mark on a new way to eat into Second Amendment rights, will play the same game as the superior court judge who ruled against a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

A King Country Superior Court judge has upheld a controversial tax on firearms and ammunition, denying a motion by the National Rifle Association that the legislation violates state law.

The so-called "gun violence tax" opens up a new front in the fight for Second Amendment rights. Chicago is the only other municipality in the country with a specific tax on guns and ammo.

Seattle says the money raised from the tax will go to "gun safety research and prevention programs" in the city.

Reuters:

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a "gun violence tax" on sellers of firearms and ammunition in August, directing proceeds toward violence prevention programs and research beginning in January 2016.

A companion measure requires gun owners to report cases of lost and stolen firearms to police.

On Tuesday, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson denied a request by gun rights groups for an injunction, saying the tax did not violate state law and was a "lawful exercise of Seattle's taxing authority."

The National Rifle Associations (NRA) and other pro-gun groups vowed to appeal against the ruling, maintaining that the tax does not comply with a Washington state law that bars municipalities from creating their own gun regulations.

They also said the tax would hurt small gun dealers, with customers driving to other retailers outside the city limits to avoid the tax.

"We are going to fight this vigorously in defense of a state preemption law that has served Washington citizens well for more than three decades," said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the pro-gun rights group Second Amendment Foundation.

The only other municipality in the country with an individual tax on gun sales is Chicago, according to the NRA.

Under the new Seattle law, gun sellers will be taxed $25 for every gun sold plus 2 or 5 cent taxes on each round of ammunition.

Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess said the tax was a "legitimate and appropriate way to raise revenue for gun safety research and prevention programs" in the city.

"Judge Robinson saw through the NRA’s distorted efforts to put gun industry profits ahead of public safety," Burgess said in a statement.

Back door gun control efforts like this are being fought in several states. In this case, the judge completely ignored state law in favor of a made up justification by the city of Seattle that the intent of the law was not to legislate against firearms.

Raising the cost of a weapon by $25 is as much a form of gun control as limiting sales of firearms, but the judge pretended that wasn't the case. The tax may be overturned on appeal, but liberal judges, anxious to put their mark on a new way to eat into Second Amendment rights, will play the same game as the superior court judge who ruled against a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.