Tacoma Tax on Guns and Ammo May Push Businesses Out of City
Ryan Mello, a Tacoma City Councilman, has pushed for a tax on firearm and ammunition sales. The Tacoma tax, he claims, is not meant to punish legal gun owners…but it will.
“I have full appreciation that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible. This is not meant to be punitive to responsible gun owners. This is a way that is legal, deemed by the state supreme court, for cities to generate revenue for a super serious and clear problem. And there’s a direct nexus to it. For example, we tax and add fees to hunters and fishermen so that we can create more boating access land and conserve ground for hunters. Americans tend to like direct nexus of taxation, it seems to me. Car tabs for street repairs, so on and so forth. To me, this is a direct nexus of a product that very demonstrably has negative economic and social consequences for our community, and the consequences need to be mitigated with public resources…
yeah, it’s not that much revenue, but the federal government and the state government have really tied our hands on this issue and taken away so many of the right policy levers for us with preemption…
I think we must do something, anything, to prevent gun violence and if this funds one program, one outreach worker, if it saves one life, it’s worth it. All the political pain is worth it. This is not a politically popular thing to take on. But i think it’s serious and important, and I don’t think we’ll be able to live with ourselves if we can’t say that we have done absolutely everything we can in local government.” Ryan Mello to the Washington State Wire
Except…he has no real concept of “responsible gun owners.” He thinks taxing them will be safer than bans or confiscation. One business owner says the tax will put him out of business. The owner of Mary’s Pistols says that his “mom and pop” gun store can’t handle the extra pricing that comes with this proposal.
“They’re throwing me away,” said Dan Davies., owner of Mary’s Pistols to Q13Fox.
Ok, let’s get real here. This idea IS punitive in every way. Mello is targeting law abiding gun owners to fund his liberal gotta-stop-the-gun-violence narrative (and only getting about $40,000 per year). But the gun violence doesn’t come from law abiding gun owners, it comes from a) criminal elements and b) mental health issues. Wouldn’t money be better spent targeting THOSE problems?
The first reading was on October 22, followed by a public comment time. The city council plans to vote on it on Tuesday, October 29. If passed, it goes into effect January 2020.
Featured photo screenshot of Ryan Mello via Washington State Wire