That Seattle Gun Tax Is Working Exactly as Planned

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2015, file photo, sales associate Mike Conway, right, shows Paul Angulo guns at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif. Lawmakers passed a package of bills to strengthen California’s already tough gun laws then voters reinforced them by passing even more measures. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

In 2015, Seattle, to much fanfare by the vocal gun-grabbing minority in America, passed a law that was billed as a way of reducing gun violence. Based on the same economic principle that has created wealth by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, Seattle slapped a $25 tax on every firearm sale as well as a tax on ammunition (5 cents per centerfire cartridge and 2 cents per rimfire cartridge). Not only was this tax supposed to discourage the purchase of firearms, it was supposed to raise funds to aid victims of gun crime. (By the way, I’ve never really been sure how reducing sales raises money but I never studied economics under Robert Reich, so what do I know?)


Predictably, gun shops started leaving Seattle, taking with them sales tax revenue and employees. And the city, which predicted it would raise between $300,000 and $500,000 on this tax refuses to release information on actual revenues but most estimates place them at under $100,000.

So there are fewer gun stores and no discernible revenue, but surely gun crime would be down, right? Nope.

Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.

The actual numbers look like this:

New numbers released by the Seattle Police Department on Wednesday show a significant rise in gun violence this year.

According to the report, there have been 155 reports of shots fired so far in 2017. That’s more than any other year by this time. In 2016, there were 132 reports in the entire year.

The majority of those reports, 72 of the 155, occurred in the South Precinct.

There have been 35 confirmed shootings so far, which is eight more than in all of 2016. Of the 35 people shot in Seattle in 2017, six appear to be true innocent/unintended victims.


But the real purpose of this was never to raise money or make Seattle safer. The real purpose was always virtue signaling by an elite that is completely out of touch with reality, never mind economics. And in that it was a signal success. If real people weren’t being killed and injured it would all be sort of funny.


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