Judge rules Seattle must give gun-rights group tax revenue information

SEATTLE — A judge has ruled in favor of a gun magazine editor and gun-rights group who want revenue information on Seattle’s gun and ammunition tax.

Dave Workman, senior editor of the GunMag.com filed a public record requests to get the revenue information. The City Council approved the taxes in 2015.

The city refused.

So the Second Amendment Foundation and Workman sued. The foundation owns the magazine.

“This has just been a fiasco, I think, from Day 1,” Workman said. “There’s a theory out that this wasn’t a tax to raise for gun violence to begin with. It was a gun control measure disguised as a tax measure.”

Alan M. Gottleib, executive vice president of the foundation and publisher of the magazine, expressed delight at the judge’s ruling, which came Friday.

“It was silly for Seattle to withhold this information, but we’re pretty certain why the city did it. The council was told that this tax could generate between $300,000 and a half-million dollars, but now it appears the city has collected just over $100,000, which is an embarrassing shortfall,” he said in a news release.

Mike Coombs, who owns the Outdoor Emporium, says his sales of guns and ammo have been down about 25 percent since the tax started.

“We believe in gun safety and we believe that this tax is unfair,” he said. “We know that I’ve given over $86,000 to the city, and I think I’m the majority of the money that’s been paid in and the public has a right to know.”

Coombs thinks when the city releases the numbers, it will show, as Gottleib said, that the revenue is far from what the city predicted.

“I think the city is going to be way way off in their numbers, and we will find out in the next two weeks.”

The Mayor’s Office and City Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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