Gun groups to appeal in Seattle ammo tax case

The trio of Second Amendment and gun industry groups challenging the city’s special taxation scheme on gun and ammo sales are appealing their recent court loss.

Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation this week filed a notice with the state Court of Appeals in the case of Watson v. City of Seattle, which was shot down by a King County Superior Court judge last month.

Because of that ruling, the city’s $25-per-firearm tax on firearm sales and 2- or 5-cents per round of ammunition sold became law at New Year’s Day.

However, the groups are not walking away from the fight.

“We are confident that the appeals court will see this tax, which took effect last Friday, as a form of gun control that is prohibited under Washington State’s 33-year old preemption statute,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb in a statement emailed to “It is unconscionable for Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to codify what amounts to social bigotry against firearms retailers and their customers. State law prevents cities from passing laws that govern firearms regulation, including sales.”

Gottlieb contends the tax, billed as a “gun violence tax” which is estimated by the city to bring in as much as $500,000 per year, is wildly optimistic.

“Seattle gun owners will simply travel outside the city to make their purchases,” Gottlieb said. “This tax will actually cost the city revenue, and affect retailers through lost sales.”

However, gun owners in town may be driving out of Seattle just to find a gun store.

As reported by the Seattle Times, the owner of Precise Shooter, one of the city’s few gun stores, says he’s moving his business just outside of the city to nearby to Lynnwood to avoid paying the new taxes.

“Selling firearms is no longer feasible in Seattle, so we’re moving north,” shop owner Sergey Solyanik said.

His store paid Seattle about $50,000 in taxes last year.

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