JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Tacoma poised to pass Seattle’s anti-gun ‘self defense tax’

Oct 29, 2019, 5:48 AM | Updated: 5:57 am
NRA, guns...
(KIRO 7 image)
(KIRO 7 image)

When I say on my show that bad policies of Seattle have a tendency to spread, I mean it. Look at the latest example out of Tacoma, poised to pass a gun and ammo tax — or, as I call it, a self-defense tax.

If you own a gun to protect yourself, under the new legislation backed by Tacoma Councilmember Ryan Mello, you’ll get hit with $0.02 cents per round for .22 caliber or less and $0.05 cents per round of other ammunition. On top of that, gun shops are hit with a $25 fee per firearm sold.

Gun shop owners tell KING 5 that this will help put them out of business.

“I don’t make a lot of money per gun. The $25 per gun would literally price me out of business,” said Dan Davies, co-owner of Mary’s Pistols. “This ordinance threatens my livelihood, my family, and my friends.”

Mello and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards do not care about their livelihoods, nor the responsible gun owners who own a weapon to protect themselves and their families.

“Gun violence is a real problem with 40,000 gun-related deaths in 2018, and 22 gun-related homicides in Tacoma this year alone,” Mello said. “This is a modest tax to fund gun violence prevention programs in Tacoma.”

That gun violence is a problem in Tacoma is an argument why people might want to arm themselves. The single mom or dad that owns a gun for protection is not the problem. Gang members are — even if Tacoma doesn’t want to call gang violence out for what it is. The gun-related homicides Mello refers to are primarily bad guys with guns. Those bad guys aren’t paying the tax or buying their guns legally most of the time. Mello wants to tax gun owners for the luxury of protecting themselves against bad guys who, if policies like this continue spreading, will have more access to guns than law abiding citizens will.

Rantz: We’re pretending Tacoma gangs aren’t responsible for gang violence

KING 5 reports that Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said there is an “urgent and critical need to fund programs that educate the public about responsible gun ownership, gun safety, and gun violence prevention.”

Woodards brought in a gang violence intervention expert to talk about the problem in their community. Why? I thought we need to educate the public about responsible gun ownership. That will surely tackle the drive-by shooting problems Tacoma admits to having. Right.

Let’s be clear: this is yet another move to disincentivize gun ownership. It’ll drive gun business out of Tacoma, like it did in Seattle. Consequently, there will be fewer good guys with access to guns, which isn’t what you should want in a city that’s being overcome with gang violence. The City of Tacoma is going after the wrong people. And it’s by design.

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Rantz: Tacoma poised to pass Seattle’s anti-gun ‘self defense tax’