WA state Supreme Court Upholds Seattle gun/ammo tax

Discussion in 'Firearm Related' started by Scoop, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Scoop

    Scoop 20g

    The Washington state Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to uphold Seattle’s gun tax.
    By Daniel Beekman , Seattle Times staff reporter
    Aug 10, 2017

    The Washington state Supreme Court has upheld Seattle’s tax on gun and ammunition sales, according to an opinion issued Thursday morning.

    The justices ruled 8-1 to affirm a previous decision by King County Superior Court, which sided with the city against opponents, including the National Rifle Association.

    The city has been imposing the tax of $25 per firearm and 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition for more than a year and a half, following City Council passage in 2015.

    During that time, the lawsuit brought by the tax’s opponents has been moving through the courts.

    The plaintiffs have said the tax violates a Washington lawthat bans cities from regulating firearms, reserving that authority for the state. Seattle claims the tax is legal because taxation is different from regulation.

    The majority opinion concluded in part that the city’s ordinance does impose a tax, rather than a regulation, on firearms “because its primary purpose is to raise revenue for the public benefit.”

    The city won the first battle in December 2015, when a King County Superior Court judge came down on the side of the tax, ruling it could take effect.

    Opponents then took the case to a state appeals court, which passed it on to the state Supreme Court.

    “Under Washington law, a charge intended to raise revenue for the public benefit is a tax,” Justice Debra L. Stephens wrote in Thursday’s majority opinion.

    “While courts should be dubious of regulations masquerading as taxes (and vice versa),” the opponents of Seattle’s tax offered “no convincing evidence that the ordinance has a regulatory purpose or intent,” Stephens added.

    In addition to the NRA, the plaintiffs include the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and two local gun owners.

    Outdoor Emporium, a store in Sodo that sells guns, and Precise Shooter, a gun store that abandoned its Green Lake location after the tax was adopted, also have been part of the suit.

    They’ve said the point of the tax is to drive gun sellers out of the city, while proponents, such as City Councilmember Tim Burgess, have said the intent is to raise money for gun-violence research as part of an effort to stop it.

    When Burgess proposed the tax, he said the city’s budget office had estimated it would raise $300,000 to $500,000 annually. It raised less than $200,000 during its first year.

    Seattle has been waiting to spend that money until the lawsuit is resolved.

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    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  2. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Forum Moderator Supporter


    Poll tax = bad

    ID to vote = bad (even if ID is free to obtain)

    Gun tax = ok

    I want off this ride.
    DarkPassenger308 likes this.
  3. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Yeah, that's exactly how they got by with it with NFA too.

    Charge 1000% tax more than a brand new gun costed.
    DarkPassenger308 likes this.
  4. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 ON DUTY Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    No surprise there...Seattle deserves everything it gets for letting those liberal gun haters infiltrate and stay in all aspects of their government.

    If they wanted change...they got it.
    DarkPassenger308 and John A. like this.
  5. meanstreak

    meanstreak 20g

    What a crock of crap. If it benefits the public then the public should share the cost. It is a direct affront to gun ownership. Perhaps they need to appeal on the basis the law discriminates against those that are trying to simply use their second amendment rights.
  6. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ .308 Supporter

    Hey once all those gun shops are gone they'll have room to open up a few more AIDS clinics.
    DarkPassenger308 likes this.
  7. DarkPassenger308

    DarkPassenger308 .223 Supporter

    I live in Seattle. The gun shops are already gone.

    And they're not getting replaced with AIDS clinics. They're getting replaced with supervised heroine/meth consumption clinics. Not making that up.

    No federal or local law enforcement presence allowed. Just a building where junkies can shoot up their junk and have a nurse with meds and heart paddles on standby in case someone overdoses.

    I can't wait to move my family out of this political cesspool, and take my taxable income with me.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Elbert Garrett likes this.
  8. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ .308 Supporter

    I hear this all the time from people in California too. They just can't take it anymore and they're going to pack up and move to Texas or Tennessee or Missouri or any place less communist.

    I personally hate the idea because I moved so many times as a kid and I lived in so many different states, that I'm really not interested in moving anymore.

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