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Thread: Judge upholds Seattle's 'gun violence' tax

  1. #1

    Judge upholds Seattle's 'gun violence' tax

    (Reuters) - A judge upheld Seattle's new tax on firearms and ammunition sales on Tuesday, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association claiming the measure violated a state law barring municipalities from enacting firearm legislation.

    The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a "gun violence tax" on sellers of firearms and ammunition in August, directing proceeds toward violence prevention programs and research beginning in January 2016.

    A companion measure requires gun owners to report cases of lost and stolen firearms to police.

    On Tuesday, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson denied a request by gun rights groups for an injunction, saying the tax did not violate state law and was a "lawful exercise of Seattle's taxing authority."

    The National Rifle Associations (NRA) and other pro-gun groups vowed to appeal against the ruling, maintaining that the tax does not comply with a Washington state law that bars municipalities from creating their own gun regulations.

    They also said the tax would hurt small gun dealers, with customers driving to other 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," said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the pro-gun rights group Second Amendment Foundation.

    The only other municipality in the country with an individual tax on gun sales is Chicago, according to the NRA.

    Under the new Seattle law, gun sellers will be taxed $25 for every gun sold plus 2 or 5 cent taxes on each round of ammunition.

    Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess said 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 said in a statement.

    Earlier this month, the Republican-run House of Representatives blocked a Democratic effort to consider bipartisan gun control legislation in the wake of repeated, highly publicized mass shootings in the United States.

    There was an average of 131 deaths attributed to firearms each year in King County, which includes Seattle, between 2006 and 2010, KIRO-TV reported.
    http://news.yahoo.com/judge-upholds-...043225527.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.



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  3. #2
    Betcha kops are exempt......

  4. #3
    Its Seattle for Pete's sake. What else could any nominally intelligent human expect?

    I used to live there. A liberal nightmare with really mean cops and really cold people, mostly.
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    Pray for reset.


  5. #4
    Second Amendment Foundation Sues Seattle Over Public Records Act Request

    The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) on Wednesday sued the City of Seattle, alleging a violation of the state Public Records Act for refusing to disclose revenue data related to the city’s controversial “gun violence tax” that was adopted last year.

    The complaint stems from a PRA request earlier this year by the senior editor of TheGunMag.com (TGM), a print and online monthly magazine owned and operated by the foundation. He is also a plaintiff in the case.

    In April, TGM filed a public records request, seeking information about the first-quarter revenue from the gun tax. That tax is being challenged in court by SAF, the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation, along with two local retail gun shops. They contend that the gun tax is really a gun control effort disguised as a tax in order to skirt Washington State’s 33-year-old state preemption law.

    “When Seattle hastily adopted this tax last year,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “then-Council President Tim Burgess sold it as a means of raking in between $300,000 and $500,000 annually by taxing the sale of firearms and ammunition. But now the city is refusing to turn over revenue information on the flimsy grounds that it may violate the privacy of retail gun dealers in the city.”

    Gottlieb also serves as TGM publisher. The magazine covers a variety of firearms-related news ranging from politics to firearms and equipment reviews. It is based in Buffalo, N.Y. with a Western Bureau at SAF’s headquarters in Bellevue, a city located on the east shore of Lake Washington opposite from Seattle.

    The gun violence tax was set up to charge $25 on the sale of each firearm, plus five cents per round of centerfire ammunition and two cents per round of rimfire ammunition. It is very similar to a tax created in Cook County, Illinois with similar goals: to provide funding for intervention and gun violence education efforts.

    When the city refused to divulge its first-quarter gun tax revenue, citing individual taxpayer confidentiality concerns, Senior Editor Dave Workman modified his request “to accommodate the city’s concerns about taxpayer privacy,” according to a Thursday morning SAF news release.

    Julie Moore, communications director for the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services, responded in a July 14 e-mail to Workman that she had been “communicating with reporters on this same topic.”

    The Seattle Times had earlier reported that the Outdoor Emporium, one of the two retailers involved in the gun tax lawsuit, had “paid about $21,000 in first-quarter gun and ammo taxes according to owner Mike Coombs.

    In that e-mail to Workman, Moore explained, “The City’s position is we will not release any information about taxes collected/reported for the firearms and ammunition tax at this time due to the limited amount of information received to date and legal requirements for protecting taxpayer confidentiality.”

    She also asserted that “Taxpayer information is exempt from public inspection” under the state law.

    Workman maintains that “the citizens of Seattle and every gun owner in the state deserve to know whether the city’s revenue prediction was even remotely accurate, or way off base.” He said the case is “clearly a First Amendment issue.”

    “The city simply cannot be allowed to adopt a tax on the exercise of a constitutional right and then stonewall the public and the press about that,” Gottlieb said.

    The initial gun tax lawsuit was rejected in King County Superior Court, but SAF, NRA and NSSF appealed. Arguments in that case were originally scheduled later this month in Division I of the State Court of Appeals, but were moved back to November.

    SAF is represented by Seattle attorneys Steven Fogg and David Edwards with Corr, Cronin, Michelson, Baumgardner, Fogg & Moore. Fogg and Edwards also represent SAF, NRA and NSSF in their challenge of the Seattle gun tax.

    http://libertyparkpress.com/second-a...gE2O9Q.twitter
    "The Patriarch"

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post

    Not going to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    The man did not think clearly. It was almost as if he had brain cancer of something.

  6. #5
    Cook County Commie tax.

  7. #6
    i know of at least one gun store in Seattle that moved just outside the city limits...

  8. #7
    Seattle gun tax failure? Firearm sales plummet, violence spikes after law passes

    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.

    “How much data do you need?” asked Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com and member of the Second Amendment Foundation. “The data says the law has failed to prevent what they promised it would prevent.”

    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.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by JK/SEA View Post
    i know of at least one gun store in Seattle that moved just outside the city limits...
    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.

    The money that has been raised by the gun tax is sitting in a holding account during the legal battle. But Seattle has dipped into its general fund to support the gun violence research study at Harborview Medical Center. Seattle paid a total of $550,000 for the study aimed at connecting gunshot victims with social services in hopes of not seeing them in the emergency room again.


    ....
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017...aw-passes.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.



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