The Seattle city council voted unanimously last week on a “gun violence” plan that would tax the sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city. The plan is expected to be approved Monday.
If approved, a $25 tax would be added to all gun sales, along with a 5-cent tax on every cartridge sold. In addition, gun owners would be required to report the loss or theft of firearms within 24 hours.
Critics of the plan, such as Trevor Santos, manager of government relations for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, say it will cause residents to “travel to retailers outside Seattle,” and that it's just another example of penalizing law-abiding citizens, because criminals don’t acquire their firearms legally.
Seattle city council president Tim Burgess argues that the tax, which is expected to generate $300,000-500,000 per year, will provide the city with funds to research the causes of gun violence.
Burgess cited statistics, including the death every day of 80 people - eight of them children - from gun-related injuries. Council member John Okamoto added: “In my family alone, there have been three incidents of youth being killed or injured from gun violence.”
So, who's right? Opponents, who argue that punishing law-abiding gun owners will not reduce gun crime, or proponents, who say that researching the causes of gun-related violence will lead to reduced crime?
Either way, if the plan is adopted, critics are expected to challenge it in court.