Court Forces Seattle to Reveal Major ‘Gun Tax’ Shortfall

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Court Forces Seattle to Reveal Major ‘Gun Tax’ Shortfall

Second Amendment FoundationBELLEVUE, WA-( Acting in accordance with the order of a King County Superior Court judge, the City of Seattle on Monday afternoon revealed what had been suspected for more than a year, that its revenue from a so-called “gun violence tax” was far below projections when the tax was hastily adopted in 2015, the Second Amendment Foundation has learned.

According to court-ordered data provided to the senior editor of, a SAF-owned publication, the city collected $103,766.22. That is woefully short of the predicted $300,000 to $500,000 predicted by then-City Council President Tim Burgess when he championed the tax.

“We suspected all along that the city’s predictions were fabricated,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “That’s why we were happy to support the First Amendment-based lawsuit initiated by editor Dave Workman. Earlier this year when the city would only acknowledge that it had collected ‘less than $200,000’ we were certain that Seattle’s stubborn reluctance to reveal their actual revenue was a matter of embarrassment.”

Gottlieb noted that a Sunday editorial in the Seattle Times admitted that it was “reasonable” for opponents “to assume regulatory intent by a City Council that talked about limiting gun sales,” and acknowledged that the city “didn’t help its credibility by concealing how much the gun tax raised…(The city’s) recalcitrance will result in city taxpayers paying gun advocates $35,000 in legal fees.” That doesn’t include the penalty against the city for withholding the information, he added.

“When you consider the money Seattle spent dodging Workman’s Public Records Act request,” Gottlieb observed, “combined with the fact that this gun tax caused one major retailer to move out of the city and another to refer his customers to a store in Fife, plus the losses in B&O taxes along with not coming remotely close to projections, this outrageous tax has resulted in a net loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Our opposition to the gun tax, which was unfortunately upheld by the state Supreme Court in a rather tortured opinion last week, has been vindicated,” he concluded. “For a newspaper to defend such a foolish scheme is simply astonishing.”

About the Second Amendment Foundation: 

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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Precisely as predicted when this stupid law was being floated by the Seattle city hooh hahs as a “good idea, we MUST do this”. Thank you for including the critical issue of the LOSS of other tax revenues formerly paid by the gun stores who moved out of the city. that Business and Occupations Tax is a Washington state tax on businesses based on total gross sales, and is largely held within the tax zone where it was collected. So, in their zeal to impinge on gun sales inside Seattle, they drove a number of businesses out of the city,… Read more »

Rob J

The WA Supreme Courts “tortured opinion” was nothing more than bought and paid for manipulation. While our state constitution reserves the right for firearm laws solely upon the state, so to does it have power over taxes. Seattle claimed from the beginning that they were going to win the fight as it was a tax a not any fee or restriction. And our SC upheld that at face value instead of the defacto gun sales control it is. This state needs to stop being run by Seattle and get back to its roots of moderation!

Wild Bill

@RobJ. A governmental entity can not use its taxing authority to diminish a Constitutional Right, and every law enacted must pass the Substantive Due Process test. That means that the enacting governmental entity can not have an anterior motive for the law. Seattle did not use its taxing power to gather revenue. Seattle used its taxing authority to get rid of someone’s civil rights that Seattle did not like.


DUH…It was never intended to raise tax dollars. Adding taxes to an item causes sales to go down making for less revenue. The same Ideology has been used on sugary drinks in other cities causing a loss of sales,jobs and tax revenue. Liberals aren’t stupid. They simple take advantage of their power to force the causes on the masses. Seattle got what it wanted so to speak. The Dems were given the power by the people.