Seattle City Council Adopts New Firearm Tax

On August 10, 2015 the Seattle City Council adopted two ordinances affecting firearm purchasers and owners. First, the Council unanimously approved a $25 tax on all firearms sold in the city in what it claims to be an effort to combat violent crime. The proposal also includes a 5 cent tax on each round of ammunition sold. For .22 ammunition, the tax is 2 cents per round. Funds from the tax will purportedly be used for “gun violence research and prevention programs.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) responded that the tax is unlikely to affect gun violence and that it may violate Washington State’s firearm preemption statute. A second ordinance passed by the city council the same day requires firearm owners that are the victim of theft or burglary to report any lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours of the incident. Victims that do not comply with the reporting requirement are subject to a fine of up to $500. Both ordinances will now be sent to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s desk for approval. Summaries of the laws can be found here and here.

Court Upholds Florida Law Protecting Firearm Owners’ Privacy 

In Wollschlaeger, et al. v. Gov. State of Florida, et al., (11th Cir. July 28, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected an attempt to enjoin the enforcement of Florida Stat. 790.338, which prohibits inquiry into a patient’s firearm ownership unless the physician has a good faith basis for believing it is relevant to treating the patient. The plaintiffs, a group of Florida doctors, argued that the act restricted their speech in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and was unconstitutionally vague in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The court rejected both theories and concluded that Florida had a legitimate interest in protecting patients’ privacy, protecting them from harassment regarding firearms ownership, and preventing them from ineffective medical care. The court noted that the act simply codifies the common sense conclusion that there is no reason to inquire into a patient’s firearm ownership when it is unnecessary. A copy of the court’s decision can be found here.

Renzulli Law Firm is Monitoring Firearm-Related Legislative Developments

Renzulli Law Firm, nationally recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country serving the Firearms Industry, is monitoring legislative developments affecting the industry and publishing regular updates which are available by e-mail and on this website.  Any questions you may have about these developments should be directed to John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.