Anti-Gun Politicians Try To Tax Self-Defense

A proposed tax on firearms and ammunitions has been delayed by Tacoma, Washington city council members, but it will soon be back for a vote and is widely expected to pass. On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. talk show host Jason Rantz from KTTH in Seattle, Washington joins me to talk about the measure that he calls a tax on self-defense. Rantz has seen the effects of a similar tax that’s been on the books in Seattle for three years now, and it’s done virtually nothing to prevent violent crime. It also hasn’t generated the tax dollars that supporters claimed it would. What it has done is caused gun stores to close or to move outside of the Seattle city limits in order to financially stay afloat.


Rantz says the same thing will happen in Tacoma, and some gun store owners are already preparing for the worst if the tax becomes a reality. Meanwhile, city council members are spouting off nonsense about the tax deterring gun violence.

“The concept is to make sure there’s some sort of deterrence to gun violence in the community and part of that is the possession of weapons and possession of ammunition to use those weapons,” said Tacoma City Councilmember Catherine Ushka.

The tax in Seattle certainly hasn’t deterred violent criminals, because the crime rate’s actually increasing in the city. Gun store employees and owners in Tacoma say they’ll be the ones impacted by the tax, not gang members and violent criminals.

Bruce Smith, manager of Surplus Ammo and Arms, argues that the proposed tax will encourage gun shops to leave town.

“The owner of this company has already said if they pass the ordinance we will not be here when it starts. So as of January 1,” Smith said. “This store will go away. It will be gone by then.”

He showed an example on his shelves.

“It is a 1,000-round case,” he said. “And on this right here, at 5 cents a round, you’re looking at a $50 difference.”

With that type of added cost, the people at the store say those wanting to buy guns and ammo will just go a few miles away to gun stores in Fife, Federal Way, and Lakewood where they don’t have an extra tax.


Of course gun control activists will be working on city council members in Fife, Federal Way, and Lakewood as well. They want these self-defense taxes in place in every city in the state, but for now it’s the Tacoma gun shops that will be soon facing the taxman.

Also on today’s program we have the story of an Illinois man with a lengthy criminal history who got a slap on the wrist for a robbery, a grocery store clerk able to defend himself against a masked robber in Cleveland, and a good boi in New Jersey who helped track down an 85-year old woman who’d gone missing from her family’s home.

You can also get the show as a podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and the podcast page. On Friday’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. we’ll be talking with Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, as well as previewing this weekend’s 2nd Amendment Rally in Washington, D.C. Thanks as always for watching, listening, and spreading the word!



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