BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the City of Seattle, alleging violation of the state Public Records Act for refusing to disclose revenue data related to the controversial “gun violence tax” that was rushed into law last year.
Joining in the lawsuit is Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com, a national firearms publication owned and operated by SAF. Plaintiffs are represented by Seattle attorneys Steven Fogg and David Edwards with Corr, Cronin, Michelson, Baumgardner, Fogg & Moore. Fogg and Edwards also represent SAF, the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation in their challenge of the Seattle gun tax on the grounds that it violates the state’s 33-year-old preemption statute.
“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.”
Workman filed a Public Records Act (PRA) request in April. After the city’s initial refusal to divulge its first quarter tax revenue, Workman modified his request to accommodate the city’s concerns about taxpayer privacy. But the city still declined to release the information.
“The public has a right to this information,” Workman said. “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.”
Gottlieb also contended that the gun tax was never really designed to raise revenue to finance so-called “gun violence” education and prevention projects, but merely to discourage or eliminate gun sales in the city. As such, it is a gun control scheme disguised as a B&O tax that has already pushed one firearms retailer out of the city.
“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.