I’m not an absolutist when it comes to the Second Amendment. That is, I don’t stand up and scream “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” every time the issue of licensing for concealed carry comes up. Not that I have a problem with Constitutional Carry either, but there are issues where I’ll make a stand and issues where I won’t.
Which of course makes me some enemies when it comes to these discussions, but I realize I can’t please everyone, so I don’t even try.
This, however is an issue that has to be fought,
The tax would be imposed at sporting goods stores such as Big 5, Dick’s Sporting Goods and gun shops and would presumably also affect buyers at gun shows, though such events are usually outside city limits.
The proposal by Councilman Tim Burgess, who’s running for re-election, would impose a $25 tax on every gun purchased and a 5-cent tax on every bullet.
A box of 100 bullets would cost $5 more, basically adding 25 percent to the cost of average ammunition.
This is a blatant, I believe illegal, effort to make exercising a Right enumerated in the Bill of Rights too expensive for many people to exercise. I wonder how Councilman Burgess feels about poll taxes? Which SCOTUS has judged to be an illegal imposition on a Constitutional Right? Or how about a literacy test before one could write a letter to the editor of the local news rag?
The tax would raise between $300,000 and $500,000 a year, according to Burgess , and would fund gun violence programs and research.
First, bullshit. This money would disappear into the general fund for the city and never be seen again. At least most of it would, some small pittance going to put up a few posters and billboards. Second, this is punishing law abiding people for the actions of criminals.
But Burgess acknowledges the city will probably be sued if the tax bill were to pass, because state law says cities can’t regulate guns separately from the state. A lawsuit kept Seattle from banning guns in public parks in 2010.
I have not one bit of doubt that the Second Amendment Foundation, of which I am a member, will waste not a second going to federal court to file their lawsuit. I would imagine that there are already drafts of the civil complaint sitting on computers in their offices.
But Burgess and City Attorney Pete Holmes say the state statute doesn’t say anything about specific taxation of firearms or ammunition.
If I were the SAF, I’d sue these two clowns personally in addition to the suit against the city. Until public officials have to pay some portion out of their retirement or kid’s college funds, this kind of harassment will continue.
A vote on the bill has not yet been scheduled
If the City Council is smart, this bill will die before it sees the light of day. Then again, I’m not sure that City Councillor and smart can be used in the same sentence unless “not” is in there somewhere.