NSSF Tells Seattle Mayor to Veto Gun and Ammunition Tax or Face Lawsuit
NEWTOWN, Conn.—The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, says it intends to file a lawsuit challenging the City of Seattle’s recently approved sales tax of $25 on each firearm sold and five cents for each round of ammunition (two cents for .22 caliber).
NSSF and other pro-gun groups fought the legislation, labeled a “gun violence tax,” but the City Council nevertheless approved the ordinance on August 10. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has indicated support for the measure. NSSF today sent the mayor a letter urging him to veto the unlawful tax and letting him know that if the law was enacted “NSSF will have no alternative but to file a lawsuit” against the City to invalidate this unlawful regulation of the lawful sale of firearms and ammunition on the grounds that it violates Washington state’s preemption statute that blocks cities from regulating the sale of firearms. Additionally, the letter points out that the tax burdens citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm.
“This ordinance will do little to promote public safety and instead will place an undue burden on both federally licensed firearms retailers and law-abiding citizens who want to purchase firearms, particularly people in less well-off circumstances,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of NSSF. “This law is nothing but a ‘poll tax’ on the Second Amendment and an effort to drive Seattle’s firearms retailers out of business.”
The ordinance was proposed by anti-gun Council President Tim Burgess as a way to offset the cost of violence resulting from criminals who misuse firearms.
NSSF says the law is misguided because criminals do not purchase guns through legal means, and that the tax will generate less far less revenue than projected because customers will simply go outside the city to make their purchases.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.