Does Seattle’s New Gun and Bullet Tax Threaten the Second Amendment?
SEATTLE, Washington – A new tax in Seattle may threaten the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment – the right to bear arms.
According to a CNN article, Seattle’s City Council, with support from Mayor Ed Murray, passed a tax on Monday which aims to impose extra fees on gun and bullet sales. Based on a similar tax passed in Cook County, Illinois, the so-called “gun violence tax” was introduced by lawmakers as a way to show support for gun safety in the city, with proceeds being allocated to programs that reduce gun violence in Seattle.
As part of the legislation, a $25 tax will be imposed on guns and a 5-cent tax will be tacked on to bullets that are sold in Seattle. The Seattle Budget office estimates that the tax will raise between $300,000 to $500, 000 for gun safety advocacy programs. In addition, the law makes it mandatory for residents to file a report on lost or stolen firearms.
At first glance, it seems as though the tax law was created will all the best intentions. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Do the pros of the new law outweigh the cons? Moreover, how are Seattle residents who already abide by gun safety laws going to react?
Given that many gun violence crimes are committed by individuals who 1) don’t have registered guns and 2) don’t care to abide by laws in the first place, it seems as though the only ones who are going to suffer are Seattle’s law abiding citizens.
Also, according to the National Rifle Association, residents of low-income neighborhoods where crime abounds will suffer from the tax. These are the individuals who need the most protection, yet, the tax may render it near-impossible for them to obtain firearms for their own safety.
Opponents of the tax believe that the predicted revenue won’t even be significant, claiming that individuals will just go elsewhere for their gun and bullet purchases to avoid paying the extra fees.
Tax lawyers may be called in to provide assistance to Seattle residents due to the potential legal implications of the legislation. If the tax prevents law abiding citizens from their constitutional right to bear arms by making gun and bullet purchases expensive beyond their financial means, attorneys may need to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court.
In all honesty, perhaps a better way to reduce gun crime would be to target illegal firearm sales or to increase penalties pertaining to the possession of illegal firearms and gun paraphernalia.
Legislators are responsible for maintaining safety, but they also have a duty to citizens that abide by the laws. Seattle residents who have never committed a crime and who are merely trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm by purchasing firearms should not have to suffer because of the improper actions of those who do not have a regard for the legal system.
Anyone who has questions about the tax law and its possible effects should consult with a Seattle tax attorney to ensure their rights are not being violated.