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State preemption law on line this Friday in Seattle gun tax challenge

December 16, 2015


December 15, 2105

by Dave Workman

A hearing this Friday in King County Superior Court on a lawsuit challenging Seattle’s so-called “gun violence tax” puts Washington state’s preemption law on the line once again, and a Seattle Times editorial published late Tuesday supports the tax, which opponents say ignores and tries to circumvent the intent, and the letter, of the law.

The newspaper argues that, “A $25 tax on each firearm sold within the city is reasonable, as is a 2-cent- or 5-cent-per-round tax for various types of ammunition.” Not only is this unreasonable, it does not appear legal under the state’s model preemption law, critics argue. Adopted in 1983, updated in 1985 and affirmed by an earlier ruling against the City of Seattle when it tried to ban firearms in city park facilities, the law places sole authority for all gun regulation in the hands of the legislature.

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