Gun Store Lay-Offs Follow Implementation of Seattle Gun and Bullet Tax

Sally Abrahamsen, of Pompano Beach, Fla., right, holds a Glock 42 pistol while shopping fo
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

On January 1, Seattle implemented a violence tax which is added to the cost of every gun and bullet sold at retail in city limits. And just over 10 months later, one of the most prominent gun stores in the city is laying off employees and has already “taken a $2 million hit in sales so far in 2016.”

Breitbart News previously reported that the violence tax places a five-cent tax on every bullet sold within city limits and a $25 tax on every gun. The tax was pushed by City Council president Tim Burgess and passed by the Seattle City Council on August 10, 2015. Seattlepi reports that Mike Coombs, the owner of Sodo’s Outdoor Emporium, is now watching his business decline.

In addition to the $2 million loss in sales, Coombs has seen his “customer count” tumble by 32 percent during 2016. At the same time, Seattle residents are going outside city limits to buy the guns and ammunition they need.

When Burgess first introduced the tax, he claimed it would offset the expense of caring for gunshot victims. He pointed to healthcare costs in 2014 as a justification for forcing the gun industry to pay its fair share.

But Breitbart News was quick to point out that Burgess missed the point: He failed to consider the fact that the tax would not be paid by gun or ammo makers but by law-abiding citizens purchasing guns and ammo at retail outlets. Now gun store employees are losing their jobs.

Seattle refuses to release figures to show how much revenue the violence tax has garnered during the first 10 months of its existence, so Dave Workman and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed suit to force release of the information. Seattlepi has also filed a “public records request” regarding tax revenue, but has received no information to date.

Tax sponsor Tim Burgess said the city does not want to release information on tax revenue until the gun and bullet tax has been in effect for a full year.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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