Two low-key gun-related stories in Seattle—the Pacific Northwest’s capitol of far-left Utopianism—perfectly illustrate, albeit unintentionally, why the visceral anti-Second Amendment mentality that permeates the Jet City has failed and always will.
One incident, reported by the Seattle Police Blotter and KIRO News, the city’s CBS affiliate, involved a man arrested on a downtown street for carrying a pistol without a concealed pistol license.
The other involved the arrest, by a SWAT team no less, of a wanted felon in South Seattle. This fellow, all of 19 years old, according to the Seattle Police Blotter, was “wanted on a felony warrant for robbery, assault and possession of a stolen vehicle.” And during that arrest, “Police recovered a handgun…”
There is some question among Open Carry activists about the first arrest, because the police reportedly spotted the guy’s gun because it was “clearly sticking out of his waistband.” At the time, law enforcement was searching for a suspect in connection with a shooting in the downtown area.
Still, open carry is legal in Washington State, protected by the state constitutional provision on the right to bear arms. Under Article 1, Section 24 of the State Constitution, adopted when Washington achieved statehood on Nov. 11, 1889, is clear: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
So to-the-point is this language that when Arizona achieved statehood on Feb. 14, 1912, its state constitution copied the article word-for-word.
Perhaps there is more to the story.
It’s the second report that truly underlines the failure of the Seattle philosophy; a mindset that has adopted a special “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition that many believe is clearly illegal under Washington’s model preemption law, adopted in 1983 and 1985 that places sole authority for gun regulation in the hands of the State Legislature.
The tax levies a charge of $25 on the sale of every firearm in the city, and five cents per cartridge on the sale of centerfire ammunition. As reported earlier, this tax failed from the outset to achieve the projected revenue of between $300,000 and $500,000, and it actually has driven lawful business out of the city.
The actual first year revenue in 2016 was $103,766.22 and it dropped to $93,220.74 in 2017. Last year, according to the city, the tax revenue declined again, to a comparatively paltry $77,518.
Seattle is also home to the state’s gun prohibition lobbying groups, Washington CeaseFire and the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility. Two anti-gun initiatives steered by the Alliance and supported by CeaseFire, have been abject failures in their promise to improve public safety. Since Initiative 594, the $10.2 million “universal background check” measure was passed in 2014, homicides have climbed in Seattle.
In 2016 after the first full year of the gun tax, the city reported 18 murders. In 2017, the number went up to 27 and last year the body count climbed to 32.
When police arrested the armed 19-year-old, he was violating the law against possession of firearms by felons, and at his age, he couldn’t legally be packing a gun, anyway. There was also no background check involved in his acquisition of the gun.
While Seattle’s liberal politicians and cash-endowed elitists press their anti-gun-rights schemes, they seem oblivious to, or deliberately dismissive of, the fact that criminals don’t obey gun laws which only penalize law-abiding citizens.
On July 1, Evergreen State gun owners will face another round of gun control extremism, along with a change in how background checks on handgun sales are conducted. Starting next month, gun buyers with concealed pistol licenses will no longer be able to take same-day delivery of a handgun they purchase, because the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) won’t be conducting handgun background checks for Washington State. That responsibility falls to local agencies, which may have a lot of explaining to do to the state’s 616,000 CPL holders.
The gun prohibition lobby may be able to pass rights-eroding initiatives, primarily by far outspending their opponents, but the failure is in the results: They haven’t prevented crimes, and probably never will.
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