The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) warned Seattle Mayor Ed Murray last week that if he signed the city council’s “gun violence tax” into law, that Seattle;s citizens would have to pay to defend the law in court.
Well, Murray unwisely signed the bill into law on Friday, and the city was slapped with lawsuit today:
Gun rights and firearms industry organizations teamed up today against the City of Seattle’s new gun and ammunition tax by joining in a lawsuit against the city and Mayor Ed Murray, who signed the new tax into law Friday.
Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation, joined by two of the city’s firearms retailers – Outdoor Emporium and Precise Shooter LLC – and two private citizens, filed their lawsuit in King County Superior Court.
Representing the plaintiffs are attorneys Steven W. Fogg and David B. Edwards with Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner Fogg & Moore. Fogg represented SAF, NRA and other groups in a successful 2009 lawsuit against Seattle which also forced the city to comply with the state preemption act.
Some see this new case as almost a replay of what happened when then-Mayor Greg Nickels pushed a ban on firearms in city park facilities, including those legally carried. At that time, SAF and NRA were joined by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), the Washington Arms Collectors and five private citizens, accusing the city of violating the 33-year-old preemption law that places sole authority for firearms regulation in the hands of the State Legislature.
The suit marks the first time NSSF has joined the the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) in a lawsuit, and suggests that the entire industry is looking to crush this tax into dust.
Washington state has very strong preemption laws, and the likelihood of Seattle being able to defend their punitive tax on firearms and ammunition seems very remote. It isn’t known why Seattle’s mayor and city council thought that they would be able to pass an anti-gun law just by labeling it a tax.