Making it more expensive to own or shoot a gun isn’t going to have any impact at all on folks who use guns to murder other folks. Cute idea by the Seattle City Council…
But utterly ineffectual from a prevention standpoint.
Right now, there is an ammunition “shortage”, with some of the most popular calibers such as the 22 round used by almost everyone for target shooting of paper targets or metal plates either being unavailable, or off the shelves entirely. As is usual in America in artificially induced “shortage” situations prices of a box of ammo have doubled and tripled. So hunters and target shooters are already paying 3 times what they were just a few years ago for ammo…And they are still clearing the shelves. One of my favorite “Varmint Elimination” rounds for down at the farm in the country has gone from an average of $8.00 a box of 50, to $18-20. Even the trusty 22 cal, I use for the occasional over aggressive Rat Tail Black Snake trying to set up residence in the house or barn has shot through the roof.
So how is paying $1.00 a round for 9mm ammunition going to prevent gangbangers and homegrown terrorists from buying bullets? The only thing this is setting up is a black market in selling “broken” boxes where some enterprising black market entrepreneur will start selling bullets by the half dozen for a 25% profit over the case price. Further, the profits from illegal drugs are so high…A small rise in prices can be absorbed by “the cost of doing business”.
I mean, admittedly there aren’t many legitimate uses for a gun in a major city – but people who want to buy (and use) guns and ammo will just drive outside the city limits to buy. My own state, Virginia gained a reputation a few years ago for being the principal supplier to guns for crime sin New York City. Admittedly the lax gun law of the time, which allowed anyone to buy 50 or 100 guns at a time didn’t help.
The only way to solve the “gun problem” in America – is some sensible restrictions aimed directly at the “loose” interpretation of the Second Amendment, and the NRA.
With a new national push to combat gun violence, the city of Seattle has begun to tax firearms and ammunition in an audaciously creative way to get around Second Amendment protections on guns. The tax has passed its first court test, signaling an approach that other municipalities could adopt, with a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city, two cents on every round of .22 caliber ammunition, and a 5-cent tax for every other round of ammunition.
The tax went into effect on January 1st after surviving a challenge from the NRA and other gun rights groups when King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Rubinson ruled in December that the city of Seattle has the “constitutional and legislative authority to impose taxes” – which, as she noted, is separate from the city’s ability to regulate guns.
City attorney Pete Holmes was initially surprised the NRA didn’t ask for a stay in the Judge’s ruling when filing its appeal Monday in state court. If the NRA sought constitutional relief, they would have appealed in federal court. But, from a legal standpoint, this isn’t about the constitution. “Everybody assumes this is about the Second Amendment, but it’s not, and that’s the story,” Holmes told the Daily Beast in a telephone interview.
“No one is telling you that you can’t own or buy a gun,” says Holmes. “We believe we are in a safe haven. We’re not regulating guns; we’re simply adding a tax.”
In Seattle, satisfying the Second Amendment is easier for gun safety advocates than clearing “State Preemption,” a legislative barrier that the National Rifle Association employs to block gun safety regulation in some three-dozen states, including Washington. It’s a short statute the gun rights lobby writes and then muscles through state legislatures, says no other body, such as the municipal authorities in cities like Seattle, can regulate firearms. The NRA’s Institute of Legal Action (ILA) churns out the statutes and lawmakers in state after state are happy to oblige.
And with so many state legislatures wholly owned subsidiaries of the NRA, it’s an effective maneuver. Holmes says it was the undoing of an executive order issued two Seattle mayors ago banning firearms in city playgrounds and parks. The Court overturned the ban not under the Second Amendment but under State Preemption.
So it is a big deal in Seattle that this modest tax is in place, and that the money it generates will go toward compiling data about gun violence and putting targeted intervention programs in place. After the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre of first-graders, Seattle funded a study that found people with gun shot wounds treated at Harbor View Hospital, the regional trauma center, are 30 percent more likely to return with another gunshot, or as a homicide victim.
The study was the first of its kind done by a city, and researchers found parallels with alcohol-related injuries in the early 1990’s. Spending 20-30 minutes with patients injured in such incidents before releasing them to talk about risk and their chances of being readmitted paid off in lower re-admittance rates….Read the rest here…