BELLEVUE, WA – A 61 percent increase in homicides last year is proof positive Seattle’s egregious tax on firearms and ammunition sales amounts to a fraud and should immediately be repealed, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
“Seattle city leaders rammed through this gun tax over our objections back in 2015,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb recalled. “It has never come close to creating the tax revenue that was predicted, and the number of homicides and non-fatal shootings has not gone down. Claims that this tax would help reduce violent crime amounted to nothing more than a snake oil sales pitch.”
Published reports place the number of murders in the city last year at 50, up from the 31 posted in 2019. It is also up dramatically from the 32 killings in 2018 and 27 logged in 2017, according to Seattle Police Department data.
“The gun tax was an outrage when it was adopted and now it is officially a disastrous failure,” Gottlieb observed. “The tax literally drove business out of the city and into a neighboring county, resulting in a loss of revenue, and it’s pretty clear the actual intent was to push gun stores out and make it harder for Seattle residents to purchase firearms and ammunition. Obviously, when you do that, only criminals will be armed and crime will go up.
“We call on the Seattle City Council to repeal this extremist tax and admit publicly it has been an unmitigated failure,” he continued. “When any program fails so miserably while penalizing the wrong people there can be no other responsible course of action than to abolish the program and vow never to repeat the mistake.
“Of course,” Gottlieb added, “we don’t expect the city to admit anything, especially that its gun control scheme is wrong and always has been.”
Proponents of the gun tax originally forecast annual revenue between $300,000 to $500,000. CCRKBA has kept track and actual revenue has not come close. In 2016, the city collected $103,766, and in 2017 the take declined to $93,220. In 2018, the number fell again, to $75,518 and in 2019, revenue bounced up slightly to $85,352.
“Revenue returns have been pitiful,” Gottlieb stated, “but not nearly as pathetic as the city’s incompetence in adopting the tax in the first place. The current situation was more predictable than winter rain in Seattle.”