Seattle City Council president proposes new gun tax, reporting requirement

SEATTLE -- A pair of bills proposed by Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess would tax gun and ammunition sales in the city, as well as require owners to tell police about lost and stolen firearms, the Seattle Times reports. 

The proposed tax would be imposed on gun cellars and amount to$25 on each firearm sold, and five cents on each round of ammunition, the Times reports.

According to the Times, Burgess said the revenue from the taxes on ammo and guns could go to fund gun-violence-prevention programs. Burgess said taxpayers shelled out $12 million as 253 gunshot victims were treated at Harborview Medical Center last year.

"Gun violence is expensive," Burgess said.

Not reporting a lost or stolen gun could result in a $500 fine under Burgess' plan. Burgess told the Times the reporting requirement would better allow police to track lost or stolen guns used in a crime.

Seattle would likely be sued by guns-rights groups if either bill passed. State laws largely prohibit municipalities from regulating firearms.

A few opponents of Burgess said the proposals come as the interim President is running for city council re-election, and he hopes of boosting his progressive appeal.