(SEATTLE) — The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a pair of gun safety measures on Monday, which would implement a tax on all firearms and ammunition purchased in the city as well as mandating reporting of lost or stolen weapons.
The gun violence tax approved by the city council would charge firearms dealers $25 per firearm sold and five cents per round of ammunition sold. The City Budget office expects that the tax would raise between $300,000 and $500,000 each year.
Council President Tim Burgess called gun violence “a public health epidemic,” but insisted that it could be alleviated “with focused research and prevention funded by this new revenue source.”
“Every day, the general public pays the enormous cost of gun violence,” Burgess said after the measure passed.
Mayor Ed Murray, who supports the legislation, said its passage “demonstrates the commitment of this City and this community to lead on the ongoing national epidemic of gun violence.”
“While action at the federal level and in many other jurisdictions remains gridlocked, we are moving ahead to address an issue so damaging to the young people of Seattle, especially young people of color,” Murray added.
The legislation approved on Monday also would require individuals whose firearms were lost or stolen to report it within 24 hours of discovery. Violators could face a fine of up to $500. Federal law requires firearms businesses with a federal license to report lost or stolen guns, but does not apply to individual gun owners.
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