When Seattle police released year-end crime statistics recently, showing the city had an uptick in gun-related homicides and injuries, a national grassroots gun rights group—based coincidentally in nearby Bellevue—took the city and its gun prohibitionist allies to task for what it called a failure of their anti-rights policies that haven’t worked.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, referring to a series of gun control measures passed since 2014, issued a scathing statement noting, “It hasn’t gotten safer in Seattle or elsewhere around Washington with passage of these laws, but the gun prohibition crowd simply won’t admit their gun control crusade has failed miserably.”
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb pointed to Seattle police data showing shootings last year were up a reported 6 percent over 2018, and there were 18 fatal shootings in the city, the highest number since the city adopted the “gun violence tax.”
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In recent years, Seattle has become a hotbed of gun control politics, with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility—an affiliate of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety—having backed a trio of gun control initiatives with multi-million-dollar campaigns since 2014 saw passage of anti-gun Initiative 594, which mandated so-called “universal background checks” that were supposed to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Seven months later in 2015, the Seattle City Council adopted a “gun violence tax” that adds a $25 fee for every firearm sold at retail in the city, along with five cents for every round of centerfire ammunition and two cents for every rimfire cartridge sold.
Prior to 2014, incidents of shots fired never topped 300, according to SPD data. Since 2015—the first full year following passage of the “universal background check” measure—the number of shooting incidents has not dropped below 300.
In 2014, there were 296 reports of shots fired, including 56 people wounded and 15 killed. The following year, when the city adopted the gun and ammo tax, the city logged 376 shots fired reports, including 70 people wounded and 16 fatalities. In 2016, the total number of shots fired reports dropped to 326, but it included 59 wounded and 11 killed.
SPD data for 2017 showed 351 reports of shots fired including 67 wounded and 16 fatalities, and in 2018, there were 308 shots fired reports, including 67 people wounded and 13 killed.
Last year, Seattle police responded to 315 shots fired reports, including 73 wounded and 18 people killed, the most fatalities since 2012.
“We find it beyond ironic,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement, “that the exact opposite of what gun control proponents predicted has occurred. Their extremist agenda has failed to reduce gun-related crime as was implied when they pushed through their various measures.”
According to the CCRKBA, it’s not just Seattle crime data that proves these gun control efforts have failed, and they appear to have a point. The annual FBI Uniform Crime Reports for the past few years show statewide gun-related homicides have crept upwards as well.
In 2016, Washington saw 127 firearm-related slayings and in 2017, there were 134, according to the FBI data. In 2018, the most recent year for which FBI figures are available, that number had risen to 138.
“That’s not what we would call a success story where restrictive gun control measures are concerned,” Gottlieb wryly observed.
By no small coincidence, the Washington Legislature convened Monday. The Democrat majority is pushing even more gun control measures including proposals to require background checks for ammunition purchases, a ban on original capacity ammunition magazines, a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and a never-before mandate training requirement to obtain a concealed pistol license.
“We’re not sure the Evergreen State can stand many more of these so-called ‘gun safety’ efforts,” Gottlieb said. The sarcasm was razor sharp.
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