Backdoor Gun Suppression Through Taxes: Tacoma, WA Could Follow Chicago

P. Gardner Goldsmith | October 25, 2019
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As if unconstitutional attacks on the right to keep and bear arms – statutes such as license mandates, waiting periods, background checks, “Red Flag” codes, and outright bans on certain kinds of firearms – on federal and state levels were not enough, the overlords of Tacoma, Washington, have decided to follow the non-success of Chicago to make it even harder to exercise the right to self-defense.

As Joe Wolverton, III, reports for TheNewAmerican:

Pending before the Tacoma (Washington) City Council is an ordinance that would impose a tax on the purchase of guns and ammunition. The proposal is substantially similar to a measure passed by the City of Chicago in 2015, and everybody knows that there if is one place where restrictive gun laws have nearly eliminated gun crime, it’s Chicago, Illinois.

Ahh, yes. Grab more money in the manner of criminal thieves while doing it under cover of “government” and “battling gun violence”. Very ethical, very aware of the rights of citizens. Disregard the fact that such statutes won’t stop criminals, will retard the ability of peacefully-minded people to protect themselves and train with firearms. Don't worry about the fact that this will drive “legal” gun dealers out of the city.

Long-standing work conducted by John Lott, and published on the Crime Prevention Research Center website and in his book, “More Guns, Less Crime”, shows that the presence of more arms among a population is highly correlated with decreases in violent crime, while the elimination of legal means to carry guns sees a correlated increase in violent crime. Lott’s voluminous research also is backed up by a Centers for Disease Control study that showed that firearms owners were between 1.8 and three times more likely to stop crimes with firearms than to engage in crimes with firearms.

So, statistically, if politicians who want to push people around really want to curb “gun violence”, they would want to pass statutes mandating gun ownership.

But the Tacoma City Council would, it seems, prefer to engage in make-believe and money-grabbing, as Wolverton notes:

Ordinance 28623 — the 'Firearms and Ammunition Tax' — imposes the following taxes:

- a tax on firearms and ammunition to consist of $25.00 per firearm sold at retail, $0.02 per round of ammunition .22 caliber or less, and $0.05 per round of other ammunition sold at retail to raise revenue for funding programs that promote public safety, prevent gun violence, and help offset the impacts and costs of gun violence in the City.

So, let’s see if we have this straight.

The city demands that residents, consumers, drivers, and business owners in the area pay lots and lots of taxes, and the rationale the politicians offer is that the taxes are used, in part, to “protect” those folks. If those folks don’t pay taxes the police, paid through taxation, will be used to enforce those political commands to pay. Meanwhile, the means by which one can defend himself or herself – the private ownership of a firearm – is going to be taxed, as will ammunition.

That seems more like a shakedown or protection racket than a means of protecting people.

And it destroys incentives for legal sellers to stay in the area, as Wolverton observes was the effect in Seattle a few years ago:

When Seattle pushed through the tax, proponents predicted it would raise between $300,000 and $500,000. In reality, the first year brought in $103,766, the second year saw revenue drop to $93,220 and last year the city brought in only $77,518. The gun tax caused one of Seattle’s two major gun dealers [to] move his business to Lynnwood, in a neighboring county. The other major shop began referring its customers to a separate store outside the city, also in another county, so the city not only lost out on the gun tax, it lost the Business & Occupation taxes as well.

Curiously, while firearms are most often used for defensive purposes, the state (i.e. government) can only exist through the use of force and threats of aggressive violence.

What if legislators and city politicians had to pay an increasingly higher tax to propose statutes? What if they had to pass “waiting periods” before they could swoop down inside the “city halls” and “capitols” to tell other people how to live?

Heck, what if politicians could be held personally liable for the property harm and loss of life their statutes incurred? And what if the people who voted for them could be included as jointly liable?

Perhaps there would be far fewer statutes proposed. In fact, likely there would be far fewer politicians trying to get into office.

Because taxation is a means by which government suppresses legal activity the government doesn’t like.

Which is precisely why these money-hungry politicians seem so rabid to tax guns and ammo.

They don’t like the right to keep and bear arms. And they don’t want people to exercise that right.

So they are intent on ordering people in Tacoma to pay the feudal lords lots of cash in order to be free. Meanwhile, ciminally-minded people never worried about the taxes or statutes in the first place, because they, by definition, operate in the black market, and will continue to do so.


Video from Tacoma News Tribune