It looks like the tax Seattle put on their guns and ammo in 2015 is backfiring:
FOX NEWS – When the City of Seattle passed a tax on all sales of guns and ammunition, the measure was hailed as a way to defray the rising costs of gun violence.
But since the tax took effect, those costs have only risen as gun violence in the city has surged. And the tax has apparently brought in much less than city leaders projected it would.
Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016. Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.
Councilman Burgess never returned calls and emails for comment. Dana Robinson Slote, director of communication for Seattle City Council, said she was “politely declining your invitation for an interview.”
In selling his gun tax to the public, Burgess predicted it would generate between $300,000 and $500,000 annually. The money would be used to study the root causes of gun violence in hopes of reducing the costs to taxpayers.
Seattle officials refuse to say how much the tax brought in the first year, only giving the number “under $200,000.” Gun rights groups have sued to get the exact amount.
But Mike Coombs, owner of Outdoor Emporium, the last large gun dealer left in Seattle, said the actual tax revenue is almost certainly just over $100,000, a figure based on information he says the city shared with his lawyers.
There’s a reason why the tax is not raising near the money they predicted. Just like all things that get taxed, gun sales are down because people are going out of town to buy their guns:
Coombs said storewide, sales are down 20 percent while gun sales have plummeted 60 percent.
“I’ve had to lay off employees because of this,” Coombs said. “It’s hurting us, it’s hurting our employees.”
Employees at the Big 5 sporting goods stores in Seattle also report anemic gun sales. But there’s evidence Seattleites are just going outside the city to buy their guns. Coombs also owns a gun shop in the nearby city of Fife. Sales there are described as robust.
Another gun dealer simply left Seattle and moved his shop, Precise Shooter, to nearby Lynnwood. Sergey Solyanik said business has never been better. He said the gun tax has probably worked out to be a net negative for Seattle when factoring lost sales tax revenue.
As far as the gun violence increase itself, this is what the Seattle Police are saying:
Seattle police say the increase in shootings seems to be tied to the drug trade – and revenge.
The drug trade sounds gang related. I’m not sure what ‘revenge’ means. But in any case, I think it’s probably difficult to say with any certainty that the increase can specifically be tied to that tax on guns. While gun ownership has probably gone down some, I suspect it’s been mitigated by people driving out of town to buy guns.
I know if my city voted for this nonsense, I’d gladly spend that $25 bucks in gas money and drive out of town to buy my guns.