Last August I told you about how the Seattle City Council passed a “gun violence” tax to the dismay of store owner Sergey Solyanik and other supporters of the Second Amendment. Sponsor of the tax, Council President Tim Burgess, had said the tax of $25 per gun and 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually that will be set aside for gun-violence-prevention research and programs.
On December 24th, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson judge upheld the tax, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.
Now a store owner, after telling the City of Seattle he would do so, is making good on his word. Beginning Jan. 1, Seattle’s Precise Shooter gun store stopped selling firearms and ammo. And now the owner is moving the store out of town.
MyNorthwest.com reports that Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter, is closing his gun shop and moving it to Lynnwood (just north of Seattle) after a recent court ruling gave Seattle approval to impose a tax on gun sales.
Solyanik opposed the tax and said it would harm his business. “It would make us unprofitable,” he said. “I calculated it by retroactively applying the tax to our existing sales — I’m a software developer, so I can do that — and we would be operating at a loss for the entire store.”
Solyanik said he has no intention of contributing any tax money to the city. “We are all disappointed,” he said. “We feel that, basically, a crockpot politician was trying to buttress his ‘progressive’ credentials and we got run over. Burgess doesn’t expect any money from this. In fact, there will be a net loss for this city. This location brings in roughly $50,000 in sales tax revenue, so that is all going to be gone next year. And there is not going to be any revenue from the (gun) tax.”
Precise Shooter remains open to sell cleaning supplies and other equipment, but will not sell firearms or ammo that are now taxed in Seattle. Solyanik said he will operate the shop as such until his business license is approved for a new store in Lynnwood. Precise Shooter is one of few businesses that specializes in, and primarily sells firearms.
Solyanik likens the gun tax to alcohol consumption, which he argues harms more people in the United States than guns. “We don’t say that an average person is responsible for the violence fueled by alcohol, but for some reason people feel that gun owners should be held to a different standard than themselves,” he said. “I think people are afraid of things they don’t know and understand and vilify people they don’t know and understand.”
And because Solyanik understands how criminals work, he said, “People who shoot up people in the streets — they don’t come here to get guns. They get them on the streets,” Solyanik said. “It’s just collective punishment for all of us.”
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