Judge Says Seattle’s Controversial Gun and Ammo Tax IS Legal
The tax, which was passed in 2015, and went into effect in 2016, was designed to provide funds to ‘combat’ (maybe the wrong word!) violence in the city. It was met with legal challenges, but now the State Supreme Court says it’s legal.
Washington state law prohibits cities from passing certain regulatory fees, and the Supreme Court said this fee was a tax, so it’s legal. The tax charges $25 for every gun purchased, and $.5 cents for every round of ammo from .22 caliber on up if bought within city limits.
A number of groups, including the NRA, pro shooting groups and two Seattle-area gun stores, collaborated on the legal fight, but to no avail, according to the Seattle PI.
The city estimated the tax would raise anywhere from $300,000 or more, and the money would be used for a Harborview Medical Center program designed to offset the after effects of gun violence.
However, after being forced to release their figures due to a lawsuit, the city has admitted they’ve taken in less than $200,000. Apparently the tax isn’t working as well as hoped. That’s due to citizens buying guns and ammo outside of Seattle.
One of the gun stores in the lawsuit has moved to Lynnwood, the other one is still in Seattle but has reported plunging sales and is thinking of moving as well.