Wal-Mart has agreed to adopt a 10-point retailing system pushed by the anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Wal-Mart, the largest seller of firearms in the nation, cooperated in the drafting of and adopted what the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group calls the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership.
The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, created by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Wal-Mart, is a set of policies that will be implemented over time that includes video recording of sales, rigid controls on inventory, checks that gun purchasers are not misrepresenting themselves and the development of a first-of-its kind computerized crime gun trace log for retailers.
The new crime gun trace log will flag purchases by customers who have previously bought guns later recovered in crimes.
Wal-Mart will implement the 10-point code at its stores where firearms are sold. The announcement was made April 15 at the Mayors Against Illegal Guns National Summit, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
“We know the ways that guns can end up being used in crimes. Now a responsible and innovative company has stood up with our over-300 member coalition of mayors to strengthen their sales practices to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said New York City Mayor and coalition co-chair Michael R. Bloomberg. “I’ve always believed in leading by example, and Wal-Mart has again demonstrated why it’s a great American company. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership makes good sense – it will have no impact on a well-intentioned and law-abiding gun buyer – but will help keep Americans safer.”
“Wal-Mart currently uses a strong point of sale system that allows us to serve the many hunters and outdoorsmen who’ve made us their retailer of choice, while also ensuring the responsible sale of firearms,” said JP Suarez, senior vice president and chief compliance officer, Wal-Mart. “This code is a way for us to fine tune the things we’re already doing and further strengthen our standards. We hope other retailers will join us in adopting the code.”
“Partnerships like this one emphasize our mission to keep illegal guns off our streets, and reinforces that we are not cracking down on legal gun owners and the Second Amendment,” said Boston Mayor and coalition co-chair Thomas M. Menino. “This is about public safety and I want to thank Wal-Mart for taking responsibility and being a leader in this area. This code of contact will have no impact on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help mayors and our law enforcement stop the proliferation of illegal guns.”
According to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 46% of its criminal gun trafficking investigations involved straw purchasers, where someone who is not legally allowed to purchase a firearm does so through the use of a proxy, known as a straw buyer. Examples of the provisions in the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership intended to deter and stop illegal purchasers are videotaped sales, increased monitoring of fake IDs, the crime gun trace log, and increased training for employees to spot illegal purchases.
Additionally, the inventory controls and increased physical security for firearms in the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership are intended to stem lost and stolen guns, which ATF reports often make their way into the illegal market.
Elements of the 10 points of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership include videotaping the point of sale for all firearms transactions; a computerized crime gun trace log and alert system, and employee background checks.