Will Wal-Mart Change How Guns Are Sold?
As the largest retailer in the world, there isn’t much that happens publicly at Wal-Mart that goes by unnoticed. In many cases, the retailer’s actions can lead to changes that go well beyond its stores.
Detractors are quick to dismiss many of Wal-Mart’s initiatives as public relations gimmicks rather than acts of leadership. In the end, however, many often feel compelled to follow its lead regardless of their initial reactions.
That raises the question as to whether others will follow Wal-Mart’s lead as it tightens its rules and procedures for selling firearms.
The retailer announced on Monday that it has adopted a 10-point voluntary code intended to help prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals. The initiative, the Responsible Firearms Retail Partnership, is being done in cooperation with the bi-partisan group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The program’s implementation timeline has yet to be determined.
The code calls for:
the sale of all firearms and archiving footage for six months to monitor
employees and deter illegal purchases.
- Creating a computerized log of crime gun traces
back to the retailer. If a consumer who comes into a store to purchase a
firearm comes up on a trace, it will be up to the store’s discretion on whether
to sell them a gun.
- Customers purchasing a gun after coming up on the trace alert
system will be asked to fill out a declaration that they meet all legal requirements
to purchase a weapon.
- Retailers in the program will only accept valid federal
and state identification.
- Signage to be posted that clearly spells out the responsibilities
of the purchaser.
- Criminal background checks for all employees involved in the
sale of firearms.
- Retailers participating in the program to put employees through
a responsibility-training program. The Responsible Firearms Retail Partnership
is developing an online training program based on Wal-Mart’s program.
and quarterly audits of inventory based on Wal-Mart’s firearms audit program.
- Firearm sales to be made only after background check results are in.
- All weapons
to be secured in locked cases or racks in customer accessible areas.
J.P. Suarez, the chief compliance officer for Wal-Mart Stores, said it remains committed to selling firearms. The company is the largest seller of firearms in the nation.
Mr. Suarez said the new program will add to Wal-Mart’s cost of doing business. “The costs are, we think, part of what it takes to be responsible. Everything is not pain-free,” he told The Associated Press.
Discussion Questions: Will others follow Wal-Mart’s lead and join in the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership? How do you think Wal-Mart’s participation in this program will affect its sales of firearms?
- Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership – Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- Wal-Mart to tighten rules, security on its gun sales – The Associated Press/Fort Worth Star-Telegram