BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation today filed notice of appeal in their challenge to the City of Seattle’s so-called “gun violence tax.”
A King County Superior Court ruling in late December allowed the gun tax to stand, although Judge Palmer Robinson noted in her ruling that the city’s argument that their ordinance does not impose a criminal penalty did not pass muster.
SAF, NRA and NSSF filed this lawsuit last summer, along with two Seattle gun stores and two private citizens. The case is known as Watson et.al. v. City of Seattle (Case No. 15-2-20613-3 SEA).
“We are confident that the appeals court will see this tax, which took effect last Friday, as a form of gun control that is prohibited under Washington State’s 33-year old preemption statute,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “It is unconscionable for Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to codify what amounts to social bigotry against firearms retailers and their customers. State law prevents cities from passing laws that govern firearms regulation, including sales.”
The gun tax levies a fee of $25 per sale of firearm, and two to five cents per cartridge. Backers of the tax contend it will provide $300,000 to $500,000 in revenue to fund anti-gun “research” but the plaintiffs believe that estimate is overly optimistic.
“Seattle gun owners will simply travel outside the city to make their purchases,” Gottlieb said. “This tax will actually cost the city revenue, and affect retailers through lost sales. We’re going to the Court of Appeals for review because it is the right thing to do.”