Tired of Giving Money to Uncle Sam? Gun Safes Are Tax-Free. | Northwest Safe

Tired of Giving Money to Uncle Sam? Gun Safes Are Tax-Free.


Published 7.7.2020 | Updated 2.2.2022

While we’re proud of Old Glory and we stand tall for the red, white, and blue — sometimes it feels like Uncle Sam takes an extra dollar or two. In fact, if we ran our business, or our homes, or our lives, with the government’s level of efficiency, we’d find ourselves in a world of hurt.

Sure, we love the arts. But $45,000 for a production of “Doggie Hamlet,” isn’t our idea of money well spent. The performance featured herding dogs, a flock of sheep and a troupe of humans running through a field. 

We’re pretty sure we could also find a better use for the $38,852 spent by the National Science Foundation examining how refugees are coping with their move to Iceland. And we would definitely appreciate not participating in the $1 billion price tag for an 11-mile expansion of San Diego’s Blue Line Trolley service.

What can we say, sometimes we’re just pretty tired of giving money to Uncle Sam. The good news is — gun safes are tax-free in Washington State.

Passed in 1998, RCW 82.08.832 exempts the sale of gun safes from state tax here in Washington. In the case of this law, the gun safe tax-exemption applies to any enclosure specifically designed or modified for the purpose of storing a firearm. 

The enclosure must be equipped with a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device so that it prevents unauthorized access and use of the firearm. Gun safes equipped with electronic locks would also fall within this tax-exempt category. 

This means, when you shop for a gun safe in Washington, the price you see is the price you pay.

securely store guns in a gun safe

Why Are Gun Safes Exempt from Taxes?

The sales tax exemption was designed to promote gun safety and encourage firearm owners to pay additional attention to the security of their weapons and ammunition. Furthermore, a tax-free purchase makes a gun safe even more affordable.

Purchasing a Gun Safe Helps Protect You Legally

As a gun owner, you can face legal liability for any improperly stored gun the comes into the possession of a prohibited individual. This law (RCW 9.41.360) came into effect on July 1, 2019.

Prohibited individuals include minors and felons. Depending on how the improperly stored gun is used, this could result in a conviction of:

Community Endangerment in the First Degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  

Community Endangerment in the Second Degree is a Gross Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. 

The most secure way to store a firearm is within a locked gun safe, such as a Presidential Liberty safe. Liberty’s Presidential line is arguably the most secure safes on the market, with a 2.5-hour fire rating and 7-gauge steel bodies.

gun safe after an attempted break in

Gun Safes Protect You Against Theft

In addition to protecting you legally from prosecution, safely securing your firearms against theft saves you the costly headache of replacing any stolen guns. In a recent study evaluating the burglary rates by state in 2020, Washington was ranked the 4th most dangerous. It had 522.1 burglaries per every 100k inhabitants.

Furthermore, the Seattle-Tacoma area is home to the least safe cities, according to the violent crimes and property comes reported in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Among the cities with the highest incidents per resident were Kent, Federal Way, and Tacoma.

As part of our effort to support the community and promote safe firearm storage best practices, we’re proud to have participated in Washington State’s LOCK-IT-UP program. As part of this program, we offer discounts on select pistol safes.  

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