June 2008

Down Range: 06/08

Complaints About Wal-Mart

Over on GunReports.com, content wizard Scott Freigh reports that an item about Wal-Mart agreeing to adopt a 10-point retailing system pushed by the anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has drawn plenty of irate comment.

The basics: Wal-Mart, the largest seller of firearms in the nation, helped draft the so-called Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, 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,

Todd Woodard

Todd Woodard

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.

Said JP Suarez, senior vice president and chief compliance officer for 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."

Response on GunReports.com was not positive—and I suspect the Gun Tests reader response will follow suit. For example, one Michael Smith blogged, "It is a sure sign of incompetence and stupidity when a government (local or federal) demands that a retailer take on a role of investigator, which has neither the power nor the authority to act."

If you’d like to let Wal-Mart know what you think about its new policy, please contact the company by phone, at (800) 925-6278; or electronically, at http://www.walmartstores.com/contactus/feedback.aspx.

Suit Finally Dismissed. The New York Times reported that a federal appeals court dismissed New York City’s lawsuit against the gun industry last month, ruling that a relatively new federal law protects gunmakers against third-party litigation.

That law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, banned all third-party suits against the gun industry except for those in which a plaintiff could prove that gunmakers had violated other state or federal statutes in their sales and marketing practices. The appellate ruling killed legal efforts by the city to charge gunmakers and distributors with knowingly flooding illicit, underground markets with their weapons.

Judge Robert J. Miner, writing for the U.S. Court of Appeals, held the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, enacted in 2005, is constitutional and that Brooklyn federal court judge Jack B. Weinstein misinterpreted the law by not dismissing the case.

Please Take Survey. I hope you’ll log on to Gun-Tests.com and take the online survey. The link to the survey is in the left navigation bar on the site’s homepage. It’s a great help to me when I’m programming upcoming issues of the magazine. GT