Connecticut Walmarts Charged Sales Tax On Tax-Exempt Gun Safes

Since 1999, shoppers in Connecticut have not had to pay the state’s 6.35% sales tax on gun safes and other firearms-safety items, but someone forgot to tell the Walmarts of Connecticut, which have been improperly charging the tax to customers.

CTpost.com reports that Walmart’s error came to light after an area man recently tried to purchase a gun safe at a Walmart in Danbury, CT.

The store charged around $30 in taxes on the $497 safe and refused to refund this money even after the shopper showed them a copy of the relevant state law. An appeal to Walmart HQ finally resulted in a refund, but this was not an isolated incident involving an ill-informed employee.

Others have complained about incorrectly being charged the sales tax, and when reporters checked with Walmarts in Connecticut, all the stores carrying these safes confirmed they were charging sales tax.

A rep for Walmart claimed this was a coding error on the safe and said it was a new item for the store, even though one area man contacted — and got a refund from — Walmart HQ back in December. That same customer recently noticed that he’d been charged sales tax on a gun lock — also exempted from the tax by state law — back in July.

A rep for Walmart says the nation’s largest retailer is “sending out an internal note to our associates explaining that gun safes are exempt from sales tax in Connecticut and other states that have similar laws.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has said the state’s Attorney General should investigate Walmart’s compliance with this nearly 15-year-old law.

“If Walmart is charging a sales tax on these safety devices, it is breaking the law and violating the spirit and intent of a measure intended to protect people, their families and the community,” Blumenthal said. “Appropriate remedies should be levied, including penalties.”

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