Seattle City Council to vote on gun and ammunition tax

SEATTLE, Wash. -- The City of Seattle is one step closer to passing a gun and ammunition tax. The city council is expected to vote on the measure Monday along with another piece of gun legislation.

Supporters of the gun violence tax believe it could deter criminals from buying a gun, plus tax revenue would go toward violence prevention.

However, those opposing the measure say it won’t stop bad guys from buying guns, only hurt those who abide the law.

After only six months in his current Ballard location, precise shooter owner Sergey Solyneik is already looking to move.

“I can’t afford paying this gun tax myself,” said Solyneik.

A decision he will have to make as Seattle City Council considers a gun violence tax, $25 on each gun sold and a $.05 tax on each round of ammunition.

“I would either basically have to pay this gun tax myself or move,” said Solyneik.

It’s concern that prompted Solyneik to speak out at the Education and Governance committee Wednesday.

“There’s no question that violence is bad, but the mathematics behind this proposal is grossly incorrect,” said Solyneik, during the committee meeting.

But Merril Cousin with the coalition against domestic violence disagrees.

“When abusers have access to guns the chance that someone will die will increase significantly, five times likely to die if there is a gun around,” said Cousin.

City leaders like Seattle City Councilmember John Okamoto believe something has to be done about gun violence in the city.

“In my family alone, there have been three incidences of youth being killed or injured by gunfire,” said Okamota during the committee meeting. “We can’t stand idle when this is an epidemic in the city.”

It’s an epidemic Solyneik says won’t be cured by a tax, but rather push businesses like his to go elsewhere.

“So the only economically viable course of action for me should that in fact become the law is to move, so I’m going to move three miles north,” said Solyneik.

Gun shop owners tell me they will likely take legal action if the tax is passed. Their argument is the council isn’t just taxing guns as a way to increase revenue but to regulate guns, which they believe is illegal.

They’re also voting on a measure that would require anyone to immediately report any lost or stolen guns to police.