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NRA Sues Seattle Over Tax On Guns And Ammunition

Seth Perlman
AP Photo

Gun rights organizations, including the National Rifle Association, are suing the city of Seattle over its new tax on guns and ammo. The tax amounts to $25 for each firearm sold in the city, plus 5 cents for every round of ammunition. The groups say the tax violates Washington state law.

Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment foundation is one of the groups suing. Spokesman Dave Workman says the problem with Seattle’s tax on ammunition and guns is it violates Washington’s preemption law.

“The Washington state preemption law places sole authority for the regulation of firearms in the hands of the state legislature,” Workman said.

The state law, RCW-9.41.290, which was passed by the legislature in the 1980’s, was intended to ensure uniformity of gun laws across the state.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has argued that the gun violence tax, as supporters call it, falls within Seattle’s taxing authority.

But, the gun rights groups say there is a precedent for the case they’re making.

In 2009, the groups went to court and successfully challenged Seattle's ban on guns in city parks using the same argument that the state, not the city, has the right to pass gun laws.

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