Surplus Ammo & Arms
Surplus Ammo & Arms courtesy The News Tribune
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Like Seattle, its neighbor to the north, the city of Tacoma’s city council has enacted new taxes on guns an ammunition sold there. In an 8-0 vote, the council voted to run gun retailers out of town.

Wait. Our mistake.

They approved levying new taxes on firearms and ammunition, ostensibly to fight “gun violence.” In practice, just as in Seattle, they won’t bring in nearly as much revenue as predicted and local gun stores will be forced to shutter or move.

As reports,

Council member Catherine Ushka said passing the tax is playing “the long game” in addressing gun violence reduction.

Translation: they intend to make operating a retail gun store in Tacoma financially impossible when residents will be able to drive just outside city limits to avoid the new taxes.

The tax is $25 per firearm sold at retail, $.02 per round of ammunition that contains a single projectile that measures .22 caliber or less sold at retail, and $.05 per round of ammunition for all other ammunition sold at retail.

The tax goes into effect on July 1, 2020 and is expected to raise $30,000 annually to fund violence prevention programs.

Watch the video above. Bruce Smith of Surplus Ammo & Arms sees the picture very clearly.

Seattle had their own pie-in-the-sky predictions of the loads of cash its similar taxes would bring in to fight “gun violence.” Of course, those were just lies told to sell the plan. Anyone with a basic understanding of economics knew that.

Only a fraction of the predicted amounts have been collected because Seattle’s consumers aren’t stupid. They’ve chosen to buy their guns and ammunition elsewhere.

The same thing will happen in Tacoma. And just as in Seattle, council members will obfuscate and express shock that there’s less money available for their pet projects.

Same as it ever was.


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      • Taxing an amendment from the Bill Of Rights…OK.

        When does the pole tax go into effect? Every vote you cast for a Democratic candidate will be taxed at $100, and if you vote straight Democratic Party add an additional $1000 tax. That is for anyone earning fewer than $250,000 per year. Its quadruple if you earn more.

        All tax money raised will go toward fighting political corruption, ballet box integrity and voter ID laws.

    • Washington already forces out of state internet vendors to collect sales tax. And firearms purchases via the internet are required to have the transferring FFL collect the sales tax. I imagine if any FFLs are left in Tacoma, they’d be required to collect the gun tax as well.

      For some reason, I thought this was ruled as contradicting the state preemption laws in Seattle – guess not.

      • Nope, but it took quite a crow bar to get the figures of the actual tax income. It was, unsurprisingly, nowhere near the $500,000 predicted. Tacoma’s estimate of $30,000 is much more realistic unless all the shops close their doors and move outside city limits.

        • Or skimp out on declare /all/ of their cash sales. . . drop it 10% or 20% over the course of several months and stick it to the city. Declare every little loss and expense, there are plenty of ways to stick it to the city.

      • with the close proximity to olyimpa and portland the communist left is tying to either start a civil war or out communist the other citys. this will be overturned {hopefully} by the supreme court. but until then the dealers will have to move out of the city ..drug dealers do not bother the city council but the firearms dealers do..can you figure?????

        • It is going to be a short civil war or revolution if the leftist forces can’t get guns because there are no more urban gun shops to commandeer. There’s only so much in police, military, and NG armories.

        • Robert-“drug dealers do not bother the city council but the firearms dealers do..can you figure?????”

          The drug dealers provide job security to government employees through enforcement, corrections, and treatment programs. The gun dealers sell tools that will be used on the public servants, when the Citizens say enough.

    • Poor people are the most dangerous demographic to those in power, because the poor can fight back over a moral stand, as their future is not tied to a mortgage or the stock market.
      Hence, why cops go after homeowners for gun law violations and not harden poor folks, who would drop the cop as the Second Amendment allows.

      “Without religion the poor would murder the rich”, said one of the world’s greatest military commanders in history.

      • Pretty dumb saying, seeing as how the poor would have to fight their way through the armies hired by the rich, first.

  1. Too many Cuntifornians moving all over the nation after ruining Cuntifornia.

    Happens everywhere Socialist Democrats are elected.

    • Hey Thixo,

      There are more conservatives here in CA than the entire populations of most states, likely including yours. Nice way to lump your fellow 2A supporting POTG into the same pot as the Leftards. You’re taking the easy road by spewing the same nonsense the 19-yr-old basement dwellers do.

      Since you clearly don’t support the fight to re-take CA, we don’t need you.

      • Unless you are planning on armed revolution, there will be no “retaking” of Commiefornia. It won’t be divided into 2-6 states and you can’t win at the ballot box.

        • Heck, now that they passed the resolution that the 2 highest vote getters in the primary run in the general, a lot of the time there isn’t even a republican on the ballot! How Ca. conservatives think they can possibly make a comeback is beyond me.

        • DrewN, it’s simple, they are delusional. The Democrats aren’t going to let go of power, and the sanctuary movement is part of their plan. They will burn the place to the ground rather than allow Republicans to take back power.

        • @DrewN,

          By “they”, let’s clarify that it was the Democrats. Every bit of legislation or “solution” they come up with never includes a broadening or protecting of our rights.

          Agreed with Guesty above. There are a lot of us conservatives here fighting hard, and we don’t like it when others look down their noses at us and call all of us “Kommiefornians”.

      • Rally all those POTG and take the state back, nope, not happening. I’m planning on leaving Texas one day so don’t even think about coming here, too many Cali people and Mexicans are turning it purple.

        • People shouldn’t come here because the state is already on its death bed. Unless Trump builds that wall, Texas will fall to the reconquista movement of chain illegals.

      • And yet you’re still outnumbered 4 to 1, while the progs trickle out of California and pollute the rest of the western states.

        The best thing that could possibly happen would be for all of you conservative, liberty-minded folks to abandon ship. Crapifornia is going full progtard, and there aren’t enough of you to turn it around.

        I know picking up and leaving is far easier said than done; I’ve been contemplating leaving WA for better ground, but that’s years away if it happens at all.

        But think about what would happen if, within a 5 year span, 50% of the conservatives left California and took their voting habits to a neighboring state. You’d tip the balance in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington…all places that can still be saved.

    • Growing up in the 60’s, California was a republican majority along with Colorado and Nevada. They just flipped Virginia with Florida in their sights and even Texas isn’t immune. Wish I had answer to fix all this. (From the socialist state of Maryland)

      • Those of us in Texas are fighting. It’s Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston that are run by liberal Dems. The heartland of our state is still ol’ time Texas conservative.

  2. They really are that stupid. After all the gun stores move out of town they’ll lose the money they would have collected in sales tax, and come in with less revenue in the long run.

    • Same stupid trick was tried in NJ with a gas tax.
      When people went elsewhere to buy cheaper gas the state’s revenue decreased but the DemTards had a clause where they could incrementally raise rates to compensate for any loss of revenue. Tell me how that eventually works out in the long run for a group of idiots who can’t control spending or find ways to increase a dwindling tax base when people leave.

    • You talk as if putting FFLs out of business or at least running them out of town wasn’t the plan from the beginning.

    • Just for reference, as a current long-term, gun-owning, NRA/CCRKBA/FPC supporting, firearms trainer, resident, which one am I?

      • Oh so you thought I literally meant every person in the State was either a pedophile or a lib? That’s reasonable thinking….i guess. No, it’s not. It does sound awfully Libby though, no????

      • Outnumbered and outvoted, that’s what you are. Me too.

        This state needs serious help — either an influx of conservative folks who accept that the California of 60 years ago isn’t coming back, or an east/west split into Liberty State ( and whatever the progbots want to call their socialist utopia. Neither is likely, but we can hope.

  3. Someone help me out. Wasn’t this being challenged as unlawful because it violates the State’s preemption clause?

    • It needs to be challenged on 14th/15th A grounds because it disproportionately affects minorities who are generally less well-off and often don’t have the means to go outside the city in order to save $25 on a handgun and $25 per 500rds of ammo. So a single black woman who wants to protect her children, from the same rampant crime that the city wants to raise funds to defend against, has to pay $50 more to do so than a wealthier white person in the suburbs who could more easily afford the taxes – who doesn’t have to pay them.
      This really is just a poll tax, and unequal effect of laws, and people need to start fighting it that way.

  4. I smelled the train coming, and sure enough. Unanimously stupid, that’s western WA politics. The large group of conservative people who showed at the council meeting were totally ignored, and that happens every time there is a vote in this stupid state. I saw at least one bitch wearing a Moms Demand Action shirt, so you know who was throwing money around here again.

    This just proves that you can’t talk to these idiots. It’s a complete waste of time.

    • it is like the 30 dollar car tabs, we vote it in the legislature immediately files a court-order negating it.. they do not respect the vote or democracy either..pure communist, just like the governor, DOG-POOP STUPID AND PROUD OF IT..

  5. Seems these liberals need a history lesson about the British when they went too far. If our founding fathers were here, there would be a rope shortage and all the trees would be decorated.

  6. Take guns and ammo from the good guy just honors the Crook and Trash. They are safe now because nobody can shoot back because they know where our guns are and easy to get. But seldom you hear of the State or Who ever confiscated Thugs guns. They do not have to Regester Them!
    Several years ago I had a 9 shot .22 revolver stole out of safe. Just a odd ball. Seldom seen. I had only seen one other. Called police. Gave them picture and serial number. Knew who stole it and his address. I have never hear another word other than it was not in his house several years later when he went to prison for drugs. Nobody even checked if he had .22 when was stolen. He lived about 80 miles away.
    Picked lock on my house. Picked lock on my shop and took my drill in and drilled the combination on safe.

    • Safes aren’t drilled with off the shelf power tools. You probably had one of those cheap ass Winchester, or liberty security units which are faux safes. They look big and imposing but they are nothing more than stamped / formed sheet metal, stuffed with some drywall. They won’t even keep out two guys armed with crow bar / pry bar / big screw driver, or even one with just an axe or splitting maul. You can probably buy a jig off the web for drilling these things out, bolts right into the holes behind the lock. Or just ask around on some darker regions of the internet for some specs. If professional burglary is your gig, buying a few of these cabinets and knowing the ins and outs of them is a worth while expenditure.

      Sounds to me like you got someone who knew you had a RSC and tools, and probably had previous contact with them at some point in the past. Thieves love these units because they are gold mines and you would have been better off literally just scattering your valuables around the house.

      A real safe is packed with reinforced concrete, cut and drill resistant pieces of metal, and wrapped up nice and right in thick plate steel. You ‘can’ drill it, but you are going to need several hours, a coring drill (much bigger industrial drill and not a little cordless one.), special bits, and a jig designed for it or some strong people to hold it for quite a while, on top of knowing exactly where to drill at. You also won’t get into a safe without making some serious racket that is likely to be noticed by neighbors.

      Walmart, Costco, TSC, all want cheap ass ‘safes’ so these watered down security cabinets that look like safes are everywhere. Its a “race to the bottom” and they actually make people’s valuables less safe.

      Check Underwriter Laboratories rating on any safe before buying.
      One does not simply ‘drill’ a safe.

      • arc,

        Common gun “safes” serve three important functions:
        (1) They provide some level of protection from a home fire.
        (2) They isolate your firearms from family members and guests.
        (3) They make a great decoy if determined thieves choose your home!

        That last point implies that you keep fairly cheap/unimportant firearms in the safe — which means you keep the really nice/expensive firearms hidden throughout the home!

        • Tbh, if I ever went pro-burglar and popped open a RSC in a home full of nice shit and disposable luxuries, but found nothing but a pittance in the ‘safe’ or low value “valuables”, the first thing that would happen is every last bookshelf, mirror, and picture will be pushed off the wall, the dressers too. The Hvac vents, window sills, and wall outlets would be next. And finally, a last minute trashing under the sink cabinets, freezer, and utility. Combat hunter kicking in here, if the valuables in the safe don’t match the funishings inside the home, there is something hidden. Of course, I take pride in my intelligence and its part of why I have more honorable work.

          While it is less common and your local slapaho tribe member is unlikely to look for them, thieves are very much aware of hidden compartments. It takes less than three minutes to utterly hurricane a house looking for valuables and someone pissed at a weak safe will probably do some damage just out of spite. Its not too much effort to familiarize yourself with the brands of “secret compartment” furniture. They are usually limited to Hvac vents, wall outlets, tables (various), shelves, and fireplace mantels.

          Security cabinets may provide “some” protection, but in a complete house fire, all it does it provide a box for the ashes of whatever they contained. Unless the rating is a UL certification, the fire rating was likely done by the manufacture with low temperatures, poor testing practices, and is essentially worthless. Polymer weapons will probably be damaged, wood stocks will be burnt up, and anything paper will be gone. CDs, thumb drives, and electronic devices, all destroyed.

          A UL Class 125, or even 350 is a whole lot more expensive, but you will actually have a safe that will protect against fire damage. External temperatures of over 1700°, the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 125° for at least one hour. RSCs are tested by dubious methods, and at temps of around 1200°F. A RSC might provide fire protection from a localized fire in another room or in another part of the building, but it will not save anything from a catastrophic fire.

          If you have to keep your guns away from guests, I would seek better guests that can actually be trusted. Of course if you have kids, education only goes so far with them and an a faux safe or cabinet will keep them out, most of the time. Kids have youtube and may just google up the cheap china model cabinet and figure out they can open it with a magnet or a cylindrical lock pick.

          So yeah I’ll meet you half-way. RSCs might, in a best case scenario, provide some fire protection, but who buys a safe for a best case scenario? #2. . . Alright, a $600 faux safe from the local bargain store will keep out the kids and random guests. Of course, kids get into everything and if you left the safe combo on the desk, backup key, or maybe they just looked at which keys on the pad have dirt and grease on them. #3, Exactly. A decoy might fool common thugs, but if the contents don’t match the house, others will keep looking. If the safe has monetary junk in it then the good stuff is probably plainly hidden in something mundane.

          If a thug ever bumped up against a REAL safe, screw the safe, it takes a several thousand dollar coring rig and 1+ hour just to poke a hole in it. Jack anything else thats valuable but is unlikely to phone home.

          I can only offer information, if someone wants to trust one of those cheap ‘safes’, go for it.

          On a side note, I can’t afford a safe but if I had one, it would contain backups of my artwork (graphical paper prints) which is mostly furry porn, both erotic and non-erotic stories, and world-building, because all my stories, characters, etc, are pretty much priceless to me. Maybe my grandfathers war medals and some commemorative coins, and some signed copies of a few books, and other odds and ends. Gold? Just bury that junk a quarter mile out in the forest.

          Art was my second attempt at self-employment, I’m working on something else now. Unfortunately, I’m still broke AF, but I get work from home, so there’s that.

        • This is why people have alarms, cameras and big dogs. All three make a house less attractive and homes without an easier mark.

          Thieves are first and foremost lazy and disinclined to get caught.

        • @ Merle 0, if I had a safe, yes. Any artwork that I made and still have copies of would go in there, along with any stories I’ve written or am writing. Losing work you have created yourself is a lot worse than simple data loss. Some of my pieces have taken several months to complete and require a decent amount of technical understanding to create. Unlike gold, silver, and rifles, traditional or self-made artwork is irreplaceable.

          I Just lost around 6TBs of data because the filesystems corrupted on both the new and old backup drives, and I had already cleaned it off my computer because I was going to format one more time before W7 end of life in January. If Maya, Photoshop, X-normals, substance painter, Z-brush, etc, ever work on Linux, I’ll have no further use for Microsoft’s never ending errors and screw ups. I recovered some of it, but the rest is toast.

          I keep multiple digital copies of my work but physical printouts of the finished pieces can’t be corrupted. Its a long term goal to have a professional printer for physical hard copies and for selling prints. In a class-125 safe, paper and hard drives should easily survive a house fire, more so if they are in a secondary digital media firebox which is also class 125. Paper money also won’t go up in smoke inside a proper safe.

  7. Is that $30,000 number even realistic?

    How many firearms do firearm stores in Tacoma sell annually? Maybe 500? That would be $12,500 tax revenue annually. And how many rounds of ammunition annually? Perhaps 200,000 rounds of rimfire and 150,000 rounds of centerfire annually? That would be $11,500 annually for a total annual firearm/ammunition tax revenue of $24,000.

    I guess the Tacoma City Council projection of $30,000 annually seems plausible if none of the firearm stores vacate Tacoma.

  8. WHO will buy guns within the city? How many gun sellers will stay within the city limits? Wii they stupidly try to collect taxes on items bought outside the city? What the flying flipping whatever were they thinking? How many gun owners will look for housing outside the city? Especially among renters?

    • Why would you need “housing outside the city”? Just drive out, buy gun, drive back. Only people moving should be the gun stores.

      • It’s exactly what happened in Seattle. I think one store moved less than a mile. It was just enough to put them outside city limits, so good enough. Basically, there’s one store left, but they do most of their sales at their other location outside Seattle.

  9. Sounds like a great opportunity to offer reloading workshops, move the ammo to an off-site co-op, and offer optional delivery.

  10. Seatle predicted their tax would raise $300-500,000 but they only collected $93,000. If Tacoma expects $30,000 then they can probably realistically expect about $1000. And even then they’ll consider it worth it.

    • It’s really not about collecting taxes. That’s just whitewash to sell it to the voters.

      It’s all about “do something” and feeling good about themselves.

      • This.

        It’s never been about bringing in “gun tax” revenue. It’s always been about forcing the gun stores out of town. And then they can smile as they chat about it over cocktails and take in the campaign contributions from the happy progressives.

      • It isn’t about any of that. It is about ending gun sales, infringing on 2A, and disarming civilians. Nothing more. They will sacrifice money and ever rising crime as long as law abiding citizens are disarmed. The agenda is total control. Disarmament is the first step. I watched the public hearing last night. Those of us opposed to the tax outnumbered the supports by 60 to 5. It wasn’t even close. And yet they voted for the tax. Our voices don’t matter. The vote was already determined the day the tax proposal was written.

  11. Hey Cook County,ILL has an identical slush er “gun violence” tax. I will NEVER pay it. Had guns transferred from Indiana to a Will county gunshop. And a nearby Cook shop. They don’t charge a tax unless you buy from them. I buy all my ammo in Indiana and my AR from my favorite Indiana pawnshop. Obviously the “point” is put them out of business. Chucks in Riverdale is still open to gouge the mainly black clientele. Oh well…good luck Tacoma!

  12. How to do, drop the price of gunm anf bullits. Gunm cost $100 make $95 , Everybody happy,,,,plastics cheap

  13. What most people reading this do not realize is that Washington has 39 counties. The Seattle/Tacoma are and possibly Skagit county are about the only three that are blue (dems). Almost every other county in the state is red, however the major population base is on the west side of the state in these three counties and they are liberals. . By west side, I mean that Washington state is divided by the Cascade mountain range. Going to the central or eastern side of the state, political opinions and views on guns is vastly different (Pro Gun), in these rural areas. Just pointing this out for people not familiar with Washington state. Soooo, Seattle and Tacoma politics are ruled by liberal progressive leftists communists. Let’s face facts, this legislation to impose firearm taxes on law abiding citizens has nothing to do with safety, the council is well aware that these taxes will do nothing but force gun merchants out of the city which is the main focus. If they tell you it is funding for Gun Violence they are lying or being disingenuous . The main focus is disarmament of the populous, period. Whenever a dem opens their mouth and tell you they are helping you, you can bet they are lying. Please prove me wrong.

  14. Part of the idiocy of this thing is it doesn’t affect the bad guys at all. The people that buy the lion’s share of ammo are the law-abiding owners who go to the range a lot. The bad guys buy a gun on the black market, presumably with a full magazine, and that’s it for the ammo purchases. Even if the mag is empty, what are they going to do, buy 1,000 rounds to knock over a convenience store? Not likely. So I’m not seeing where this addresses the so-called problem of “gun violence” at all, nor do I see any deterrent value by making shooting a luxury sport of the rich.

    And in spite of it all, I’m sure the council members in Tacoma are very satisfied that they’ve actually accomplished something for the public good.

    Which goes to prove what I figured out a long time ago– corporate board rooms and the halls of gubmint are natural magnets for the most psychopathic among us. The inmates truly are running the asylum.

  15. The gunshops should move across the bridge to Fife.or,down the pac highway to Lakewood.of course that would cost money,but keep them from going out of business.

  16. Surplus Ammo used to be in Lakewood. Maybe they’ll move back. I bought my first gun there, and have bought a decent amount of ammo there, especially back in the day. He’s absolutely right that no one is going to pay the extra $50 on a $250 case of ammo when they could just drive another 15 minutes.

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