Is Gun Control Failing Fatally in Washington State?

Despite several recently-enacted gun control measures in Washington State, the number of murders has climbed in the past three years. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( Two homicides over the weekend in Seattle, Washington—headquarters city of the Northwest’s wealthiest and most active gun control lobbying organization—may not seem like much compared to a weekend in Chicago, but for the Jet City, it may be a sign that gun control efforts over the past few years are failing to live up to expectations.

According to Seattle’s KOMO, the two unrelated slayings bring the total number of homicides this year to 35, but that figure may not be accurate. Ammoland News spoke with the Seattle Police Department and the unofficial count there is 27, placing the city on par with the same time last year. If so, the city could end with around 32 slayings by Dec. 31, unless the pace picks up heading into the holiday season.

And this is where gun control proponents may have some explaining to do.

In 2014, following a $10.2 million campaign financed largely by wealthy Seattle-area elitists with help from billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Washington voters adopted Initiative 594, the so-called “universal background check” measure. It was supposed to prevent so-called “gun violence.” Yet since that measure passed, there have been two high-profile mass shootings in Washington, both in 2016. In one case the killer passed a background check, and in the other the gunman took his stepfather’s rifle without permission.

In the summer of 2015, the Seattle City Council hastily passed a “gun violence tax” ordinance that assesses a $25 fee for each firearm sold, plus five cents for each centerfire round and two cents for each rimfire round of ammunition sold inside the city. In 2016, the first full year of the tax being in effect, there were 18 homicides, according to Seattle Police data. The following year saw 28 homicides. Last year, there were 32 killings inside the city, and while not all of those slayings involved firearms, the number of murders has crept steadily upward since the gun tax and the background check measures became law.

Last November, following another multi-million-dollar campaign effort, Evergreen State voters passed Initiative 1639, about which Ammoland has reported twice in recent days.

There is now a robust grassroots repeal effort underway with nearly every gun store, gun show and other sportsman-friendly entities all accepting signatures on petitions for Initiative 1094. From anecdotal evidence on social media, thousands of signatures have already been gathered and momentum is continuing to build. Ammoland spoke last week with one small gun retailer in North Bend east of Seattle, and he said everyone who has walked into the shop has signed.

So, the question now dogging the gun control crowd is simple. How has this gun control agenda helped anybody?

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for the years 2016-2018, the number of murders in Washington State has gradually crept upward. In 2015, there were 209 murders of which 141 involved firearms, but that dropped significantly by Washington standards to 195 total slayings and 127 involving guns in 2016.

But the period during which I-594 should have been initially showing an impact shows the opposite. In 2017, there were 228 murders in the state of which 134 involved guns. Last year, there were 232 killings, and 138 of those were committed with firearms.

It may not be an “epidemic” as often described by the gun prohibition lobby, but it doesn’t indicate any downward trend one might expect if background checks and gun taxes were having an impact.

None of this compare to Chicago, where the weekend saw at least three more people murdered and ten wounded in shootings across the city, according to the local NBC affiliate.

The website reports 408 Windy City homicides so far this year and 1,972 people wounded. That’s more people than are murdered in the entire state of Washington in any given year.

Chicago is often held up as the epitome of gun control failure.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Just remember, the cities in which homicides are the highest are controlled by Democrats. They are a useless group of people, aren’t they?

jack mac

Democrats are a very dangerous group, equaled or surpassed by treacherous Republicans.


Responsible gun owners are not the problem. No matter how many “gun control” initiatives get passed, and for every responsible gun owner that is affected by it, there are a hundred bad guys who obey nothing because they could give a shit. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with an armed good guy. So called “feel-good” laws are just that. And, trying to legislate the Constitution out of existence is the thing that’s a criminal act, for which you will be held accountable as soon as the smoke clears.


The evidence will never convince the anti-civil rights bigots that gun control is a failure.


David — Jokers to the left of me, clowns to the right. And here I am stuck in the middle with them. Every day I see these losers with egg all over their face after eating a pile of crow, and yet, they see it as part of their daily dietary routine, where discard feathers are to be worn like a badge of honor. What is it again, they about fools? Oh! Wait. That’s right. It’s that it takes an even bigger one to want to argue with them because you can’t convince them of anything. You might as well… Read more »


@StWayne That’s why there are some of us trying to restore the integrity of evidence(Jefferson said “Fix Reason firmly in her seat…”), but to do so you have to start from the position of Mathematical Theorem. It is at that point that you can place evidence head to head and let light be shown on truth. Not for Convenience, but for Consistency. A mathematical theorem is true because it must work every single time. It must be provable. Evidence is the same, it has to be proven, otherwise it does not exist. It is the Post-modernists who wish to destroy… Read more »


As for me, I’ve never gotten over the fact that God created Eve (Mrs. X chromosome) from Adam’s rib (Mr. X and Y chromosome, see Genesis 2:21 and 22) because at that point, all she is is a mini-me with hooters. What I need now is someone’s face to throw THAT in ;)!!! And oh! What a fine dish we serve here at this place we now find ourselves, where food for thought IS the main dish. I love it. Stay intellectual, and it weeds out the nonsensical.


@StWayne To the last sentence, yes, whole heartedly. As to the Adam Eve bit, It’s quite simple. If you believe in God, in a being so powerful and Omnipotent, who can create an entire universe out of his own thought and will…… And then want to say he cannot do such things on a molecular level as to take one thing and turn it into something completely different? If you want an intellectual thought, perhaps thinking about who benefits depending on which side asks the question and in what context. On the Humorous side, if you are trying to imagine… Read more »

jack mac

The makers of these laws intend to increase crime. The more crime the more pretense to justify oppression. The compliance and endurance of oppressive laws encourages more acts of oppression. These laws have not failed their agendas. These lawmakers will continue their agendas until their laws and they are defied.


We never give credit for well written articles, well here it comes, great job Dave. Thanks for a concise, to the point, easily understood article. Keep them coming. Between you and Codrea you could dominate Ammoland and pretty much dump quite a few of the others.


When the Sheriffs in Washington State collectively stated they weren’t going to enforce the garbage anti-second Amendment “laws” coming out of Olympia and funded/pushed by Seattle, it was a clear sign that gun control wasn’t going to be accepted and complied with by the rest of the state. New Mexico followed suit and at a recent Gun Show in one of the 3 NM Counties that didn’t declare itself to be a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary city, sales were off, but it soon became apparent that the similar ludicrous NM laws were not being enforced by anyone, even in a liberal… Read more »


It should, it’s failed everywhere else.

Gene Ralno

Hello Joe, whaddya know? Democrats will never admit it but gun control is working precisely as planned. Democrat intimidation of good people who normally would protect themselves has prevented them from carrying firearms. The result is on-site reprisal never changes — NOBODY RETURNS FIRE!! And democrat reaction never changes — GRAB THE GUNS, GRAB THE GUNS!! We all should ask, WHAT GUNS?!! Nobody there had any. I’d also ask whom they hope to disarm. The victims invariably were rendered defenseless by their own misanthropic government. It’s ridiculous. Our founders got it right with the 2nd Amendment and John Lott got… Read more »


We can point out the fallacy of their theories all day long, but their response will always be that they have to do more. Now Tacoma is pushing a tax mimicking Seattle’s. Not because Seattle’s tax did anything good, but because, as the byatch-mayor of Tacoma said, lawful gun owners should foot the bill for the results of “gun violence”. Libtard logic is reverse, obstinate, and a bottomless abyss of stupid. The power of stupid is very strong in western WA, and growing stronger with time. Partly to blame is the University of Washington, where they pump out hordes of… Read more »


How far will the pols in the Socialist State of Washington push the patriots in that state?


if memory serves me this was a Soros funded initiative…..


The 2015 tax on firearms and ammunition had absolutely no effect on anyone except the gunstores in the city. You have to only travel 10 miles south or north or east of the city to pay ‘normal’ prices for whatever ;you might want, and so far with out a BC. That will be the taking of the cake, in my mind, anyway.


The question remains though, how far will he take that stand. He has already shown a willingness to put in Red Flag violations against the second amendment. Just because he does not agree with bans does not make him a friend of the 2nd.

On a side note, eating children? Seriously? Unless you are referring to indoctrination, you may want to take about 20% off the top there bud.


Years ago I seen a documentary of some people in Europe eat the placenta of a newborn as some type of tradition.
I wouldn’t have believed it till I seen it either.


@USA I’ve never “Posted for points”. If you are referring to the idiotic little vote button, I’ve maintained a staunch stance against it since the switch over in June. I have however attempted to highlight and exaggerate the stupidity of such a social credit system(Very good on recognizing it as exactly that!) because there are some here who will use it to try and shout others down, some who maybe don’t have my willingness to “Damn the torpedoes” so to speak. To that end, I’ve seen more people starting to wake up to it over the last few weeks, which… Read more »