This city is now taxing guns and bullets with ‘gun violence tax’

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SEATTLE – Seattle is ready to tax guns and bullets. The City Council unanimously passed a special tax on Monday, and Mayor Ed Murray signaled his support for the measure.

The new law will impose a $25 tax on guns and a 5-cent tax on bullets sold within the city limits.

Lawmakers called it a “gun violence tax” because proceeds would be used for prevention and research programs to reduce gun violence in Seattle.

The law is based on a similar $25 gun tax that passed in Cook County, Illinois, in 2013.

The Seattle budget office estimates the law will raise $300,000 to $500,000 a year.

Seattle estimates that direct medical costs from gunshot wounds totaled $17 million last year, with taxpayers picking up $12 million of the costs.

The Urban Institute estimated that gun violence costs U.S. taxpayers $500 million a year.

The Seattle law also requires mandatory reporting on lost or stolen guns.

The National Rifle Association criticized the law, saying it penalizes poor residents of crime-ridden neighborhoods who have the greatest need to protect themselves.

The gun industry group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, also opposes the law.

It said it is toothless, since many criminals do not purchase guns legally.

“It’s misguided because it will only harm law-abiding businesses,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the NSSF. “It’s like imposing a tax on a pharmacy to address a heroin epidemic.”

He also said the city isn’t going to raise much tax revenue, because buyers will go elsewhere.

“The economic model they used is a fallacy,” he said.

Meanwhile, federal background checks surged this summer.

The FBI reported more than 1.6 million background checks in July, compared to 1.53 million in June.

That’s a 14% increase from 1.4 million in July 2014.

Background checks are required for all gun sales by federally licensed gun dealers.

But they are not a direct measurement of sales, because sales between private individuals, and some of the sales occurring at gun shows, are conducted without federal oversight.


  • Richard Goodman

    This is just a thinly veiled attempt to discourage people from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Funny how they want to make it more expensive to do that, but at the same time requiring someone to have a photo ID to vote is asking too much.

  • Bob Jones

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 firearms (excluding BB and pellet guns) caused 84,258 nonfatal injuries (26.65 per 100,000 U.S. citizens) and 33,636 deaths (10.6 per 100,000).

    There are 319 million people in the U.S., which means about 1 out of every 2,705 people in the U.S. was shot by a firearm in 2013; about 1 out of every 9,484 people in the U.S. was killed by a firearm in 2013.

    Extrapolating over a typical lifetime of 74 years and assuming the above trends continue, 1 out of 36 people currently alive in the U.S. will be shot by a firearm during their lifetime; 1 out of every 128 people in the U.S. will be killed by a firearm during their lifetime, most well before they reach 74 years of age (about 1 out 192 will commit suicide with a gun, while 1 out of 384 will be shot to death by somebody else with a gun).

    • Del Griffith

      Spoken like a true, liberal anti-gun activist who has been copying and pasting the same inaccurate and statistically inconclusive message all over the internet for quite some time. What “Bob Jones” attempts to do is lie by omission. That means he leaves out facts about legal gun owners that would counter his argument.

      One of the easiest things to do is sit in front of a computer, run a google search on your favorite topic, and “extrapolate” your own argument and conclusions from statistics. You can do it concerning just about any topic!

      Just another far-left, anti-gun, disarm the populace liberal who fails to get it through his head that 99% of legal gun owners have never harmed themselves or another human being with a firearm. That’s because we respect the law and human life, while an overwhelming percentage of harm to humans by firearm is committed by illegal guns.

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