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Gun rights groups file notice of appeal over Seattle’s tax on firearms, ammo sales

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SEATTLE -- Gun rights groups are taking aim at Seattle's "gun tax" and filed a notice of appeal over the new ordinance they say unfairly targets law-abiding gun owners.

Leaders from the 2nd Amendment Foundation made the announcement Monday about the legal action.

Foundation spokesman David Workman said of the city's new law, "It singles out gun dealers and people who want to buy firearms and ammunition charging them to help pay for research."

In August, the Seattle City Council approved the "gun violence tax" that requires firearms dealers in the city to pay $25 for every firearm sold and $0.05 or $0.02 for every round of ammunition sold, depending on the caliber of ammunition.

The National Rifle Association sued Seattle over the tax,  as well as mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms. The lawsuit accused the city of violating Washington state law, which prohibits local governments from adopting laws related to firearms unless those local ordinances are specifically authorized.

The NRA was joined in the suit by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.

On Dec. 22, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson upheld Seattle's new law. Workman's group is appealing her ruling and said city leaders should be worried about criminals instead.

"It would be a better idea to push for sentencing guidelines that lock these people up for a long time," he said.

City leaders are defending their new ordinance,  which went into effect Jan. 1.

Seattle City Council member Mike O'Brien said, "This isn’t about taking away guns from folks. This is about being smart and rational about how we use and deliver guns."

Council member Tim Burgess also strongly believes in the ordinance that passed unanimously.

Burgess said, "The gun industry should be paying some of the costs that their product causes harm."