Did Seattle gun "tax" reduce the number of guns in Seattle?
As many of you know, Seattle City Council, under the illustrious "leadership" of one Tim Burgess, have enacted a tax on guns and ammunition
which took effect on January 1st, 2015.
The city promised a windfall of $300,000-$500,000, earmarked for "gun research" (AKA proving that guns are bad for your health),
which of course was all kinds of stupid, though it did convincingly prove that
Seattle electorate was really, really bad at basic math.
Anyway, since then various people tried to see how much of this financial goal was achieved, through FOIA requests, and
the City Hall was predictably stonewalling these requests because
sunlight is the best disinfectant
I look at it from a different perspective.
It was abundantly clear for anyone with IQ above 50 (except of course those
whose salary depended on not understanding this)
that the real goal of this "tax" was to reduce the number of guns. Burgess, O'Brian, Bagshaw et all made lots of commentary about how guns
are "too easy to acquire" during the debate about this "tax" - including during the meeting when they voted for it.
So how did that go? Beyond hurting firearms dealers, did the "tax" really reduce gun sales to Seattle residents?
Well, now that our store was operating out of Lynnwood location for an extended time period so we can compare sales to Seattle residents,
from both locations. Did we sell fewer firearms to Seattle ZIP codes from Lynnwood than we used to from Seattle?
As it happens, the answer is no.
The first full month of operation in Lynnwood was March 2016, and from March to October 2016 we sold 855 guns to the residents in Seattle ZIP codes.
From March to October 2015 when we operated in Seattle, we sold 781 firearms to Seattle ZIP codes.
So at least as far as our store is concerned, Seattle residents are still buying the same amount guns, they just have to sit longer in traffic.
What antigun activists in Seattle City Council do not get is that it's not that people buy guns because they are sold. It's that guns are sold
because people want them. And if necessary, they are more than willing to pay a visit to a gun store out of town, if its own government
denies them access to guns at home.
Meanwhile, as far as money is concerned, Seattle got exactly $0 in guns and ammunition "tax" from our store, and in the seven month since we
began operations it has lost over $26k in sales tax that instead went to Lynnwood.
Now, $50k a year is not a large sum for Seattle - but it could have paid a salary of an extra police recruit, and one thing is
undisputable - a single more police officer on the beat will have more impact on violence than all laws that Seattle City Council can
produce - combined.
So, dear anti-gun folks, you have cut off your nose to spite your face. Enjoy your new look in the mirror.
And, of course, it's been true for a while - the more you fight against guns, the more people get interested in guns, the more guns are sold.
Thank you for all the good work! Keep digging!