Seattle Holds First Comment Session For Gun Tax

Seattle Gun TaxYou’d think basic math and the ability to think ahead would be two things that modern day “forward thinking” progressive leftists would be capable of understanding. As Seattle shows us, this is not the case.

As we reported last week, Seattle city commissioner Tim Burgess has proposed a gun and ammo tax within the city limits. Wednesday, July 15th, they took comments from the public on the issue, and it was just the debacle of blathering clucking hens that one would expect. Laughing At Liberals captured the video and highlighted the following testimonies:

This woman was first up with a rambling rant about… what exactly?


Shortly afterward, the group Grandmothers Against Gun Violence presented their case, which one Judy McBroom spoke on behalf of. Her testimony was based on deception and misinformation

In a moment of sanity, gun store owner and Microsoft engineer Sergey Solyanik tried to talk to some sense into the hoplophobes by explaining what the proposed ordinance actually does, what the supposed “revenue” would be, and the effect it would have on his business (More from Solyanik below).

Later, we had Cheryl Stumbo blather for her allotted 2 minutes. Stumbo was the chief petitioner for I 594, which passed last year and now mandates background checks for private gun sales. She continues to use all of the same catch phrases, such as “common sense”, “rights come with responsibilities”. Wasn’t her grand initiative supposed to solve the “gun violence epidemic”? Why is this still a problem?

And one of the last to comment was Sandy Brown, from the Center For Gun Responsibility. Like a 13 year old girl getting to meet Bruno Mars, Brown fawns all over the city council, thanking them for proposing these taxes, and using all sorts of misleading numbers and information to come to a false conclusion that ordinances will do anything to solve “gun violence”.

Mr. Sergey Solyanik has issued a statement on his company’s web page, which goes into the details on why this proposal is a bad idea:

First, the basic arithmetic behind the proponents’ numbers is grossly unsound. The supporters of the proposal claim that it will generate the revenue of $300000-$500000 that will be used to treat the victims of gun violence. These projections have absolutely no basis in reality.

Here are the very real number from Precise Shooter for the first half of FY2015:

  • Local firearms sales, which would be subject to $25 tax: 612 guns, total expected tax: $17925
  • Total number of ammunition rounds sold: 115160, total expected tax @ $0.05 per round: $5758

Assuming my store is roughly half of Seattle business, multiply this by 4 and you get the more realistic total for the year: $95000

So there is absolutely no reason for consumers to go to Seattle, where prices will always be significantly higher, for their gun needs. There are tons of options just outside the city.

Perhaps we could just pay the bill ourselves to keep the prices competitive?

Our store is run very efficiently. It has only two employees, and a state of the art software system which tracks all the merchandise, connects to NICS for background transfers, and efficiently handles all the paperwork. I wrote it myself and I am extremely proud of it.

Yet in the last 6 months we had gross profit of $66000 on sales of $416000. We earned further $6000 on the transfer fees. We have spent $42000 on salaries for the two employees in the store, so the net before the other operating costs for 6 months is $30000. Is it reasonable to expect that we – the “firearms industry” – can afford the tax bill of $23500 on this meager income? No. This would certainly put us under.

And, in fact, if Seattle did enact this law, Seattle gun stores would simply go out of business. My store certainly would, and I don’t think there are stores which are run more effectively than mine. Which means that not only Seattle wouldn’t get the revenue that the proponents project – it would lose the sales tax revenue that it gets now from the current gun sales.

During the first 6 months, Seattle earned just over $13000 in revenue from the sales tax collected by my store. Quadruple that, and just over $50000 is what Seattle is guaranteed to lose, per year, if the law is enacted. That, an a bunch of decently paying jobs (at at least $15 an hour, though we pay our employees more than the city mandated minimum).

The next open comment session involving these proposals is on August 5th.

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