The City of Seattle earlier this month revealed that revenue for its so-called “gun violence tax” in 2017 was just over $93,000, representing a decline of nearly $10,000 from the figure reported for 2016, leading the Second Amendment Foundation to assert that the tax was “a thinly disguised gun control scheme.”
Data from the city shows that the tax revenue last year was $93,220.74. That is a dramatic shortfall from the initial predictions from gun tax proponents in 2015 that it would bring in between $300,000 and $500,000.
It took a lawsuit by SAF and the senior editor of its monthly magazine TheGunMag.com to force the city to release the first year’s revenue figures last summer. This came only after the city had attempted to mollify news agencies with the somewhat murky announcement that the first year revenue figure was “less than $200,000.”
At the time, even the Seattle Times editorial page, which has not been friendly to the Second Amendment, noted, “Seattle didn’t help its credibility by concealing how much the gun tax raised. The city repeatedly refused to disclose those public records, prompting another lawsuit by gun advocates forcing it to release them… But the city’s lack of transparency around the effectiveness of its tax legislation is disappointing.”
That newspaper, however, credited the lawsuit only to “gun advocates.” Whatever else a “senior editor” of a publication may be, that individual is also a member of the working press, a fact recognized by the Seattle P-I.com.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb on Friday issued a blistering response to the city’s revenue disclosure, which was obtained by TheGunMag.com earlier this month.
“Once again,” Gottlieb said, “Seattle’s pie-in-the-sky gun tax revenue forecast has been proven to be a complete failure, essentially like other gun control fantasies. The revenue data only reinforces our claim in a (separate) lawsuit against the tax that this was a gun control scheme to drive firearm sales and gun stores out of the city, which it obviously did.”
In 2016, the city collected just over $103,000. When the city lost the Public Records Act lawsuit last year, it had to pay SAF and its attorneys more than $35,000 for legal fees. It also had to pay a nominal fine for withholding the information from the magazine editor.
“The city probably spent more on legal bills to keep the information confidential, and on manpower to comply with the Public Records Act and last year’s court order than it has so far collected,” Gottlieb estimated.