If you buy guns and bullets in Seattle be prepared to pay more for your weapons and ammunition. Seattle lawmakers on Monday voted unanimously to charge a $25 tax on guns and a 5-cent tax on bullets.
The City Council’s decision has the full support of Mayor Ed Murray.
Lawmakers call it a “gun violence tax” because proceeds will be used for prevention and research programs to reduce gun violence in Seattle.
This isn’t the first time a gun and bullet tax has been applied, Cook County, Illinois, home to Chicago, issued a $25 gun tax in 2013.
Officials in Seattle claim the bill will help raise $300,000 to $500,000 per year. That’s a pretty small sum compared to the $17 million in medical bills that were issued from gunshot wounds in 2014, of which $12 million was paid for by taxpayers.
Gun violence in the United States currently costs taxpayers $500 million a year.
The new law also requires that all lost and stolen guns are reported immediately.
In a standard statement from the NRA, the agency said the law penalizes poor residents in crime-ridden areas who need to purchase weapons for protection.
Other agencies have claimed that the bill only penalizes citizens who purchase guns legally and not criminals who most often buy their weapons on the black market.
Several opponents have said citizens will simply go elsewhere to purchase their guns and ammo at a lower price.
In the meantime, the FBI conducted 1.6 million background checks for gun purchases in July, up from 1.53 million in June. Those numbers do not include sales between individuals and sales of weapons at gun shows, both of which do not require a background check.