Judge Issues Ruling on Seattle’s Controversial New ‘Gun Violence’ Tax

The National Rifle Association’s challenge to Seattle’s controversial new tax on firearm and ammunition sales was rejected by a judge Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The new “gun violence tax” — unanimously approved in August — charges gun sellers $25 for every gun sold plus 2- or 5-cent taxes on each round of ammunition, the outlet added. Proceeds will go to violence prevention programs and research when the law goes into effect next month.

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The NRA argued that the measure violates state law barring municipalities from enacting firearms legislation, but King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson denied the NRA’s injunction, saying it’s a “lawful exercise of Seattle’s taxing authority,” Reuters noted.

Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess told Reuters in a statement that 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 added.

A separate piece of legislation says gun owners must report cases of lost and stolen firearms to police, Reuters reported.

The NRA and other gun-rights groups said they’d appeal the ruling on the same grounds, adding that the tax would hurt small gun dealers, as customers can buy from 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,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told Reuters.

The NRA noted that the only other U.S. municipality with an individual gun sales tax is Chicago.

(H/T: Business Insider)

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