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Washington SC upholds Seattle's tax on guns, ammo


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#1 Hipshot Percussion

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:19 AM

Firearm Owners Against Crime

In an 8-1 ruling handed down Thursday, the state’s high court swatted away a challenge from gun rights groups and retailers to Seattle’s controversial “gun violence tax.”

 

Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess, who introduced the tax legislation in 2015 and has been its biggest champion, said he was vindicated and hoped other cities will follow Seattle’s lead. (Councilman Burgess)

The panel held that large cities such as Seattle under state law can establish and collect local taxes and that, contrary to the lawsuit claims, the $25 fee on guns and up to 5-cents per round of ammunition, does not violate Washington’s preemption law.

“While courts should be dubious of regulations masquerading as taxes (and vice versa), in this case [plaintiffs] offer no convincing evidence that the Ordinance has a regulatory purpose or intent,” said Justice Debra Stephens for the majority. “It is a tax.”

The suit, brought by the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation in 2015, argued the ordinance was a poll tax on the right to bear arms and an effort to drive Seattle’s firearms retailers out of business. As such, they held it violated Washington’s 1983 preemption law barring cities from establishing regulations stronger than the state’s when it came to public firearm policy.

In a dissent penned by Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, the jurist held that the state’s preemption law was clear, saying, “A city tax that singles out the sale of firearms and ammunition for disadvantageous treatment is therefore preempted.”

Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess, who introduced the tax legislation in 2015 and has been its biggest champion, said he was vindicated and hoped other cities will follow Seattle’s lead.

“We knew from the start that we had a strong and sound legal case, and I’m proud that the tax proceeds can continue funding gun safety research and prevention programs at Harborview Medical Center, which is underway right now,” Burgess said in a statement.

Mike Coombs, co-owner of the Outdoor Emporium, one of the firearms retailers involved in the suit as a plaintiff, says the ruling may push him out of the city to get away from the taxes he says are targeting his business, the largest gun seller in town.

“We’ve had to lay off some employees, and that’s been tough, and I don’t see at this point it’s going to get any better,” Coombs told Komo News.

Gun rights groups have painted the tax, now in its second year, a failure as the number of shootings in the city are on the rise while revenues collected have fallen short of the city’s goals.

http://www.guns.com/...x-on-guns-ammo/


“I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish: I have kept the faith."  Timothy Chapter 4 verse 7

 

"Legitimate self-defense has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal misuse of guns."   Gerald Vernon, veteran firearms instructor

 

New Gunner Journal

 


#2 jrc905

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:43 AM

Remember, it's not about results, it's all about The Feelz...

 

On a related note, saw a Bloomberg sponsored ad yesterday praising Toni Taxwinkle's Soda Tax.... It's not about revenue - "It's for the children!" Oddly enough, ad didn't discuss WIC exemptions or Frappucino exemptions.

 

I guess the health of the poor children (or eternally Democratic voting hipsters) doesn't matter. Weird.



#3 Jeffrey

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:35 AM

Check back in 5 years how the programs that the tax funds supposedly are helping are doing.  My money is that they will still cry foul


...and justice for all

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#4 Ocellairs

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 10:06 AM

I wonder if I should recheck my idea about moving to Washington State.

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#5 Bubbacs

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:38 PM

Not sure why only one would move to the west coast
I'd rant about each state but I'd get banned for CoC here.

Anywhere but the coast lines........

#6 chislinger

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:01 PM

Anywhere but the coast lines........

The Gulf Coast states are very gun friendly!
"I'm not worried about following the U.S. Constitution." - Washington County, Alabama Judge Nick Williams

#7 Glock23

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

Anywhere but the coast lines........The Gulf Coast states are very gun friendly!

And very hurricane friendly... pass.

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#8 chislinger

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 06:44 PM

Anywhere but the coast lines........The Gulf Coast states are very gun friendly!

And very hurricane friendly... pass.

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But the fishing is fantastic!
"I'm not worried about following the U.S. Constitution." - Washington County, Alabama Judge Nick Williams

#9 BobPistol

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:10 PM

Let's test this ruling's logic.

 

Imagine if Seattle passed a tax on abortions.  (I know, not likely, but hey let's pretend).   Will the Washington SC say "you're taxing a human right" and shut it down?

If yes, then the same logic holds for guns and ammo. 

LWW-ism.   If they didn't have double standards, they'd have none. 


The Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the rest.

#10 b52

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:54 PM

Picky winkle said if the tax wasn't passed they'd have to lay off police, firemen, sheriff's having no money to pay for them. ( people bought in to the scare tactic). Now all of a sudden it's for the kids and health. Bloom Berg must be laughing his butt off.

#11 ChicagoRonin70

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 10:09 PM

So, does this now end up going to the SCOTUS? Seems like the dissenting judge's evaluation of the situation would make that the logical next step.

 

Also, even though I am a staunch supporter of individual freedom and by extension pro-choice, the ordinance's stated purpose of raising revenue for. . .

 

". . . public health research relating to gun violence and to fund related social programs."

 

. . . would draw mouth-frothing outrage if a law levying, say, $100 per abortion to raise revenue for . . .

 

". . . public health research relating to sociological and medical effects of abortion and to fund related social programs."

 

But, after all, both would be, according to Washington law . . .

 

". . . a charge intended to raise revenue for the public benefit."

 

. . . and thus a viable tax that would not be Constitutional violations.

 

One thing that I despise is hypocritical, ideological inconsistency, and this certainly is an example of that, if the thing being taxed were changed as described above, and for someone such as me to say that, it's pretty clear it's bullsh!t. 


Edited by ChicagoRonin70, 28 August 2017 - 10:20 PM.

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#12 MrTriple

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 07:31 AM

So, does this now end up going to the SCOTUS? Seems like the dissenting judge's evaluation of the situation would make that the logical next step.
 
Also, even though I am a staunch supporter of individual freedom and by extension pro-choice, the ordinance's stated purpose of raising revenue for. . .
 
". . . public health research relating to gun violence and to fund related social programs."
 
. . . would draw mouth-frothing outrage if a law levying, say, $100 per abortion to raise revenue for . . .
 
". . . public health research relating to sociological and medical effects of abortion and to fund related social programs."
 
But, after all, both would be, according to Washington law . . .
 
". . . a charge intended to raise revenue for the public benefit."
 
. . . and thus a viable tax that would not be Constitutional violations.
 
One thing that I despise is hypocritical, ideological inconsistency, and this certainly is an example of that, if the thing being taxed were changed as described above, and for someone such as me to say that, it's pretty clear it's bullsh!t. 


But when a person's ideological views are completely insane and not backed by any evidence whatsoever (gun control) it becomes that much easier to completely abandon logic and consistency in favor of the "feelz". It's largely feelz versus realz for these folks.
"The point of [so-called "assault weapon" bans]...is not to ban firearms that are dangerous, it's to ban firearms that gun owners want to own because the people making the laws don't like gun owners. If we want to buy non-semiauto AR-style rifles, they'll ban those too, and for the same reason."

-Hapless




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