Seattle Gun Tax Punishing Gun Owners And Retailers; Crime Still High

posted on May 20, 2016

When Seattle’s firearms and ammunition tax—billed as a means of paying for the consequences of gun violence—went into effect in January, City Council President Tim Burgess told the Seattle Times he wasn’t “particularly worried about” gun stores closing, but was “more concerned about what shootings cost victims, neighborhoods and taxpayers.” 

But while crime still plagues the city, the number of retailers selling firearms is rapidly dwindling. 

Precise Shooter, one of the city’s two dedicated gun stores, moved roughly 20 miles away, and the other has since relocated as well. Faced with mounting red tape, at least one pawn shop has reportedly closed its gun counter, with others expected to follow. And Outdoor Emporium—where guns make up only a portion of sales—has been forced to lay off two employees as a direct result of the tax.

The city originally anticipated raising $300,000-$500,000 in tax revenue. At this rate they’ll never reach their stated goal—but with gun retailers closing all over the city, they’re still getting exactly what they wanted.

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