Another Washington State Anti-Gun Win: Judge Upholds Seattle’s ‘Gun Violence Tax’

“A judge upheld Seattle’s so-called gun violence tax Tuesday, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson dismissed arguments that Seattle’s tax, adopted last summer, exceeded the city’s authority under state law. The measure — one of only a few of its kind in the nation — adds $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the city, plus 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition, depending on the type.” So reports The tax is laughably forecast to raise between $300,000 to $500,000, but that’s pie-in-the-sky static analysis intended to sell the anti-gun scheme to a credulous public . . .

Gun shop owners claimed the city inflated its estimate of how much money the tax would raise. They said the law would cost them customers and sales and could force them to move out of the city.

Roger that. Gun owners will simply buy their guns and ammo outside the Emerald City. The only people the tax will hurt are the city’s few remaining gun stores (as long as they last). Which, of course, was the point. That, and letting anti-gun local pols peacock around, having demonstrated for the electorate that they’d “done something” about “gun violence.”

“Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles,” Seattle mayor Ed Murray said. “Our community will not stand by as so many in our city, particularly young people of color, continue to pay the highest price for inaction on gun violence at the national and state level.”

Sleep well, Seattle.


  1. avatar Travis says:

    If you live in or around Seattle you likely drive through two or three different suburbs on a daily basis. This is simply window dressing.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Except to the Seattle gun shop owners. but I guess they took the chance setting up in PC-land.

      1. avatar binibin says:

        There really is only one gun shop in Seattle and that is preciseshooter. This is tax passed by five individuals behind closed doors against one business witch in privately owned by one person.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Actually, there are a couple more, at least. Discount Gun Sales up on Lake City and Outdoor Emporium in Sodo. There might be one other that I’m not thinking of right now.

          I believe Outdoor Emporium, which sells more than guns, has said they would move as well.

        2. avatar Scrubula says:

          Drive for 20 minutes to West Coast Armory in Bellevue…

          The effect right now is that the few gun stores in Seattle limits will probably run out of business, but it’s a dangerous precedent for cities to tax a civil liberty/right even with a state preemption law in effect.

        3. avatar Jim says:

          It’s a shame, Precise Shooter is the best FFL I’ve ever dealt with and he carries a lot of items that other stores don’t like a wide assortment of CZs and large caliber revolvers.

          He ran his business out of his house for years which is right around the corner from me and opened his storefront this year. He’s a good guy with good prices and I will continue to support his business even after he moves a few miles up the road. There are also other FFLs within the city limits that this is going to impact.

          I’m partial to concealed carry but it makes me want to get an athletic chest rig and open carry my largest and most visible handgun when I go for my evening jog every night at Greenlake.

      2. avatar Kyle says:

        Any business that is actually located in the “named city” of a metropolitan area is already demonstrating a big failure as a business person.

        Business are just “loot pinata’s” to local governments in large cities.

  2. avatar Mike says:

    So buyers will avoid buying locally to circumvent the tax, hurting local businesses… win, win? I think not.

  3. avatar Mike says:

    What are the stats for gun owners that drive?!? OMG… the carnage!

  4. avatar Spectre_USA says:

    Ed said;
    “Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles.”

    How can he not choke on this utter bull-shit? Even without getting into the inanimate objects
    performing horrible crimes aspect.

    The chism between the left side of the State, and the right side is getting deeper. Just wow…

    1. avatar Noah says:

      Even assuming that “guns kill people”, the correct phrasing would be that cars now kill fewer people than guns. Homicide levels are still declining, but car deaths are declining faster.

      1. avatar Chicago Steve says:

        Actually, this is double BS. According to the CDC, in 2013, the last year that reliable data is available, more people died by vehicles than by gun violence (incl suicides). So yeah….

        But WTF do I know. I just know how to read, not come up with political BS.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          The 2014 numbers were recently made available by the CDC, and it’s pretty much a dead heat now, statistically.

        2. avatar Jack says:

          It doesn’t matter what’s actually true anymore in this age of mass media overkill, it only matters who gets the big headline first. People read the first big headlines that hit the airwaves from the major media outlets, finish their coffee and off to work for the day. The average citizen does not spend extra time fact checking, they assume their politicians know better than them and take it at face value. I’m not sure which side is more blatant overall, but the bullshit that is coming out of the dem’s side when it comes to gun control is routinely a false narrative to the point it seems to be s.o.p.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      Were nearly 2/3 of the automotive deaths classified as suicide?

      1. avatar Alex waits says:

        Please don’t confuse facts with the narrative.

    3. avatar cm says:

      He pardoned a Tofurkey before thanksgiving. What more do you need to know.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    CA keeps spreading. I’m going to keep pounding this point until some of my thicker POTG brethren get it. If you don’t beat gun control in CA, gun control will beat you.

    Full stop.

    1. avatar Chrispy says:

      Ditto with NY, CT, NJ…

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      It’s not funny any more, it’s completely true.

      The judge that issued this ruling is a California import – Stanford and UC educated. Just by looking up her photo I can surmise what her general opinions are on every political issue under the sun.

      The most prominant and well-known member of the Seattle city council – and one of the prime backers of this “tax” – is a communist (but she uses the nice label “socialist”) from India, married to a high-level Microsoft employee, whose combined family annual income is near half a million dollars.

      I grew up in this state. I’m only 31, and I’ve watched over the past 20 years as it has completely changed before my eyes – personally I blame the tech boom for most of this. The state imported a huge amount of outsiders directly into the Puget Sound region, and they now politically control the entire state.

      It’s time for a good handful of western states to split up. The political split between east/west Oregon and Washington, and north/south California is unsustainable

  6. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane' says:

    I’d be fine with this tax if it came with a $25 poll tax to exercise your right to vote, a $25 tax to avoid unreasonable search and seizure, a $25 tax to attend the church of your choice, and a $25 tax to exercise your right of choice to kill your unborn children. Only seems fair that all rights be taxed equally.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


  7. avatar Louis Marschalko says:

    “Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles,” Seattle mayor Ed Murray said. “Our community will not stand by as so many in our city, particularly young people of COLOR, continue to pay the highest price for inaction on gun violence at the national and state level.”

    Why not tax parents who produce “people of COLOR”?

    Would that pass muster with the cultural marxists?

  8. avatar dph says:

    If anyone really believes this was about raising revenue vs. getting the Evil gun stores out of Seattle proper, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. But I would expect nothing else from the cesspool that Seattle has become, the socialist progressives have taken over the city and ain’t looking too good for the rest of the state either as they are the tail that wags the dog.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Don’t worry, it will be fine. If you remember, socialist Seattle city councilwoman Kshama Sawant stated that if Boeing leaves the state, “the people” will simply take over their factories and use them to produce buses – because clearly, an aerospace manufacturing facility has all of the appropriate tooling and equipment on hand to begin producing something completely different than what they were intended to produce.

      Surely the same can be done with Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, etc.

      Whenever a business leaves the state, that’s what we’ll do. Nationalizing production works so well in every other socialist paradise.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        LOL. Trying to imagine what Kshama Sawant might look like. These morons kill me.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Fairly unremarkable, one way or the other. It’s her politics, not her appearance that’s the cause for concern.

  9. avatar Defens says:

    I need to apply for a grant to get ahold of some of this “gun violence” research money that the tax allegedly raises. Need to keep a sharp eye on that revenue, as I bet it’ll just be turned around into more phony pseudo-science to support additional bans and restrictions.

  10. avatar JohnO_inTX says:

    Cook County, IL, bullet and gun tax will stand probably, also. I gotta give those anti-gun politicians some credit for being unrelenting devious bastards. They are snakes in the grass.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Yeah I live in Cook county-I can very easily circumvent these taxes. They ain’t gettin’ shite…the goal is to have NO local shops(or a handy slush-fund). Sorry to see this…

      1. avatar Darren says:

        Slush fund is right, probably going straight to the council members

  11. avatar Bob says:

    “Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles”

    Neither kill people; they are just inanimate objects. People kill people with bad intent and negligence.

    Maybe you should lay off the Disney movies? Just cause candlesticks talk on the screen doesn’t make it real.

    1. avatar Random_Commenter says:

      Maybe we’ll put the cars & guns on trial and let the people go free.


  12. avatar Pg2 says:

    Does the constitution have provisions for taxation on rights?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Couple hundred years of court rulings, but no specific wording I can recall. All rulings have been “taxing a right is unconstitutional”, so it ends up reworded but still a tax you have to pay. Like, instead of a tax it will be a “gun violence administrative fee”.

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        As long as it’s a state tax and not federal tax?

  13. avatar Jwestham2 says:

    They should have argued this as a poll tax.
    IANAL but in my opinion they went about this wrong because that’s exactly what this is, a poll tax. You’re paying to exercise a right.

  14. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    lets see…..make it harder for the law abiding citizen to get a gun… the gun and ammo….drugs running like water on the streets….and oh ya …lets let the incarcerated out early on a computer technicality…..Merry Christmas Washington….LOL

  15. avatar Bob says:

    So if I were to go by pure statistics, could I not find a group of people, that were responsible for disproportionate amount of crime?

    Could I not then suggest that everytime someone in that group were to reproduce, or move into the area, that they should be taxed because of the crime violence a statistical amount of that population commits?

    Redicilous right? And horribly racist.

    And it is just as wrong as taxing the sale of guns because of gun violence or taxing car sales because of car violence.

    The mayor is simply expressing his inherent bigotry against a group of people that have been determined it is ok to hate and decriminate because he can’t do it to a protected class of people.

    Gun control is racist. Supporting it is being simple minded because the “controllers” will come for “your” group next.

  16. avatar AnOregonian says:

    Does anyone have the text of the judge’s ruling? I’d like to take a closer look at what sort of idiotic reasoning was used.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        What they know, but will never admit they know, is that if government has the authority to tax sale of a firearm (or a bible, or a newspaper) $25, then they have the authority to tax it $25,000, there would be no legal difference. So, just allow this to go on, and watch it start to increase.

  17. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    It will probably get appealed to the division appeals court and then to the state supreme court if they affirm.
    I figured the superior court judge wouldn’t touch it.

    It’s too bad because people will just buy where the tax isn’t applicable, be it a few miles away or Cheaper Than Dirt etc.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      It will definitely be appealed – SAF is on the case, and they have already stated that they will appeal ASAP.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    “Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles”

    Cone on, automobiles. You’re slacking off. Get with the program and do your part.

  19. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    As I have stated on other posts, Progressives want to eliminate anyone who is “different” … where “different” means they have a different worldview. And the Progressive worldview is a world where the ruling class — government — is Almighty (as in god status) and everyone else must submit in everything … including thoughts, beliefs, speech, and of course actions.

    This “tax” was nothing more than a thinly veiled effort to eliminate those “different” people who sell firearms and ammunition.

    Remember that everything is on the table for Progressives. In this case they used a tax to eliminate the people who are different. In other cases they are all too happy to use force to imprison and/or kill people.

  20. avatar Jon in WA says:

    seattle also passed the requirement of a $15 minimum wage after a few years. super anti business socialist bs if you ask me… seattle will just be a bunch of apartments soon enough.

    1. avatar dph says:

      Apartments with rent controls if the Seattle City Clowncil has their way.

  21. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    I’m sure this will be appealed.
    By the way, Seattle’s homosexual mayor likes to pick and choose which rights he’ll support and which he tries to destroy. More than once (while serving in state government) he’s sponsored anti-2A laws that would allow for warrantless searches.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Yep, Murray co-wrote and sponsored a state bill to establish an AWB, which would have allowed LEOs to conduct “unannounced annual inspections” in the homes of “assault weapon” owners.

  22. avatar Hannibal says:

    The power to tax is the power to destroy.

    It’s funny, the people of Washington passed a law to stop this sort of nonsense and yet the judicial officers of Seattle simply ignore it. So what is to be done about them?

  23. avatar Bruce says:

    Whenever you hear about guns killing more people than cars do, ask whether they want the 2/3 of those killed by firearms to switch to using cars when committing suicide. That is the nice thing about using a gun – it is fast, if done right, and rarely kills anyone else. If they switch to cars, it will be much harder to keep down the collateral damage.

  24. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    It must be nice to be a judge and totally ignore a law to pass a ruling because, guns!

  25. avatar Conrad says:

    Seems to me I paid over $50 in sales tax when I bought my gun, and pay close to 9% tax each time I buy ammo. So we need a tax upon a tax? And this from the Mayor: ” . . . particularly young people of color, continue to pay the highest price for inaction on gun violence at the national and state level.” So the guns are falling from the sky into the hands of “people of color” forcing them to kill one another? I think it’s time for the “people of color” to stop the gang warfare and stop shooting each other. I’m not sure why WE, the legal gun owners, are responsible for the lack of responsibility shown by “people of color” who have no health insurance and rely on our emergency rooms to clean up their mess.

  26. avatar Ing says:

    Ed Murray…the same yahoo who, as a state legislator, tried to direct a statewide hotel tax toward a billion-dollar renovation of the UW’s Husky Stadium a few years ago and pitched a fit when (surprise) most of the state’s residents and legislators didn’t want to fund his alma mater’s gold-plated stadium boondoggle. He retaliated by trying to hold the state’s higher-education budget hostage, but failed miserably.

    Meanwhile, WSU (Go Cougs!) funded its own stadium renovation through donor drives, voluntary student fees, and Pac-12 revenues.

    And years later, he’s still at it — screwing everybody else just because he can. This dude is like Leland Yee’s albino twin. Vote for a progressive at your own peril.

  27. avatar CarlosT says:

    I love Seattle as a place, and it’s my hometown, but I feel less and less at home here.

  28. avatar Icabod says:

    Read an AP article that talked about “133 deaths by guns in King County. OK, Seattle is in King County. You now ask “How many gun deaths in Seattle?” Normally less then 20. Just why AP felt the need to use 133 isn’t clear (not really).

    The expected tax money is $300 to $500 thousand. That’s $15,000 to $25,000 of research for each gun death in Seattle. Sure, that’s where it will be spent.

  29. avatar jlp says:

    I would image the “pre-emption law” would make this illegal and the anti-gun judge will probably be over-ruled if the case is allowed to be appealed as well it should. Cleveland Ohio ignored Ohio’s pre-emption law for 2 years and spent millions in court before they were forced to allow the sale of semi-auto rifles in the city of Cleveland. What a waste of taxpayer money in a law suit Cleveland knew it could not win from the very beginning. They just did not want to lose face and score political points with the voters who were anti-gun. Wasting tax payer money meant nothing at all to them.

    1. avatar Gearmoe says:

      You are likely correct. This is what is going on.

  30. avatar Gearmoe says:

    I’ve been in the area since the early 60’s and it’s nothing of its former self. The fun is long gone. Snoot-fest.

    Relative to the discussion, Seattle has swung to nearly a communist attitude. It used to be kinda cool, hip, and a down to earth place where everyone got along. We enjoyed the outdoors, our Country. Hunt, fish, etc. But then the CA invasions came. Now it’s snooty, an I’m better than you are area/attitude. Beyond this the Seattle City Counsel is completely hard progressive and believe me, they are waaaay smarter than you. (Super-duper arrogant). THEY HATE GUNS FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TO HATE THEM. If you like guns, you are a bad person. PC is the law in Seattle. Mayor allows some crosswalks to be painted rainbow though DOT does not allow legally. Mayor doesn’t care.

    I expect this tax will fail but at a higher level. The Judge is on the local dole and we know how that works. It’s like the local Prosecutor having to go against the local LEO’s, it’s not so to speak, popular.

  31. avatar Fuque says:

    All the cities run together over there anyway. You never know where one ends and the other begins..Not to mention, it’s just another reason for East siders to talk about Voting ourselves out of Washington, and into Idaho.

  32. avatar ButtMunch says:

    Has anysite posted this judges home address? I bet there are a few patriots that would like to speak with her.

    1. avatar jlp says:

      If our thoroughly corrupt legal system allows an appeal I think the NRA would absolutely win if the state of Washington has a pre-emption law which I understand that they do.

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