“Gun Violence” Tax Receipts Prove People Vote With Their Feet

When the City of Seattle city council passed their “gun violence” (sic) tax in 2015 the proponent of the measure, Councilman Tim Burgess, projected tax revenues from it to be between $300,000 and $500,000 annually. Opponents of the measure suggested at the time that gun buyers would just avoid the $25 tax on firearms by purchasing their firearms outside the city limits. As we suspected all along the opponents were correct.

Thanks to a lawsuit originally brought by Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag, Seattle was forced to divulge the real collection numbers. The real numbers differ from those projected by Councilman Burgess.

The real number is $103,766.22. Of that amount, $86,410 comes from Sodo’s Outdoor Emporium whose owner has indicated that he might just shift his gun sales entirely to his other store outside of Seattle.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Councilman Burgess isn’t fazed by the numbers.

“I’m neither disappointed or pleased,” he said Tuesday, adding that he knew the $300,ooo to $500,000 was just a guess. “It is what it is.”

The tax charges $25 for every firearm sold in the city and 5 cents for every round of ammunition of .22 caliber or greater.

Harborview’s take from the tax was always supposed to be about $130,000. The 2016 tax revenue falls short of that, but while the tax was contested in courts, the city allocated $275,000 from the general fund toward the study.

Money generated by the “gun violence” (sic) tax was supposed to go to fund “gun violence” (sic) research at Harborview Medical Center.

Burgess goes on to say about the tax collections:

Burgess defended the tax as a means of making gun sellers part of the solution to the effects of gun violence.

“The fundamental principle behind the tax is that the firearms industry should contribute to mitigating the harms caused by their products,” he said. “That remains the primary motivation for the tax. That’s what we set out to do, that’s what we passed and that’s what the state Supreme Court has validated.”

The law was not written to specify where the tax revenue would go, but it was always intended to go toward programs like Harborview’s, Burgess explained. So if the city had collected an amount beyond the agreed-upon $130,000, the excess would have gone to other education and public safety causes, he said.

But should the tax continue to generate less than $130,000 or progressively shrink, “then I’m sure my colleagues would continue to fund the program with other sources,” Burgess said.

I guess in liberal paradises like Seattle the voters don’t really care if their councilmen and women take a cavalier attitude towards taxes. That is just a price to pay to live in a city where the wealthy hire off-duty cops to give them extra protection from the criminal class.

For Illinois Residents – A Tax Alert

The power to tax is the power to destroy is an abridged quote from the great orator, lawyer, and politician Daniel Webster. Illinois politicians know this all too well and now are seeking to add a 5% tax to club membership dues. So if your local rifle and pistol club charges you $200 a year in dues, your actual cost will now be $210 with that extra $10 going to the State of Illinois.

Illinois Carry has issued an alert on SB009 which, due to an amendment, would impose this very tax. Senate Amendment 2 specifically includes gun clubs, hunting clubs, and fishing clubs by name as “amusements”.  I know that the Prairie State’s finances are none too solid but I think a tax on the right of association as it were is going too far.

From Illinois Carry:

Call to
Action – Oppose SB009 Revenue Various
(Tax on gun
clubs, ranges, and hunting clubs)
Your State Senators This Week!
In our first Call to Action of the
newly seated 100th General Assembly, we bring to your attention
Revenue Various
started as a simple question of creating new taxes, a question too easily
answered “yes” in this state.  It is now more than that.
 Much more. 
Senate Amendment 2 seeks to impose 5%
membership and service taxes:
> In addition to the amusement
tax on ranges already imposed by several municipalities
> In addition to the Cook County tax on firearms and ammunition
> In addition to the proposed fees covering the cost of serializing
ammunition under HB271
> In addition to the already costly training and license fees required to
carry a concealed firearm in Illinois
> In addition to the cost of hunting licenses
> In addition to current local, state and federal sales taxes on products
associated with membership and use of hunting and gun clubs, training, and
These new taxes were
not, of course, presented in a forthright way that would foster open debate.
 Instead, they were hidden in amendments to SB009 among a plethora of
other taxes, filed quickly and quietly on a bill positioned to move through the
Senate at a moment’s notice.
We must recognize that
the more the state taxes our ability to train, compete, and hunt the more it
discourages the very practices that foster safe firearm ownership.  The
more it encourages people to purchase products and services elsewhere.​
The truth will be SB009’s greatest obstacle.
 Spread some truth, and spread our rights.
Beginning Monday, 1/30/2017, please
contact your State Senators in their district offices. Politely explain that
SB009 is no longer as it seems. Let them know that while we can debate the
wisdom of burdening Illinois with additional taxes one thing is not debatable.
The State does not have proper authority to tax our Second Amendment rights.
Contact information for your State Senator can be found here.

A Sales Tax Holiday For Preparedness Items

Colorado State Representative Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) has proposed a sales tax holiday to encourage Colorado residents to purchase preparedness items such as hand-crank radios, generators, and flashlights. The sales tax holiday would be the first weekend in September for the next three years.

While the proposed law has been derisively called the “Pimp my Bunker Act” and the “Doomsday Act”, it does have the support of groups like the American Red Cross. Nordberg proposed the law in reaction to what he saw at the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs.

Nordberg said the proposal stems from the heartbreak he witnessed last year when the Waldo Canyon fire hit. Nearly 350 homes burned to the ground and two people died. At the time, Nordberg worked as an aide for Congressman Doug Lamborn, and he worked on helping the fire victims.

“I came to the realization that a lot of people aren’t prepared for something like that,” Nordberg said.

I think he is right – a lot of people aren’t prepared. Alabama has a similar law that they approved after the string of killer tornadoes hit that state in 2011. I think this is something that more states should consider.

The text of HB 1150 can be found here.