Wal-Mart resists pressure on gun sales
The retailer has withstood similar criticism for years. Many locations have sold out of semi-automatic rifles since last week's Connecticut school shooting.
Freedom Group, the corporate owner of Bushmaster, the maker of the weapon used by Sandy Hook Elementary killer Adam Lanza, gets about 13% of its sales from Wal-Mart, which is probably the one of the biggest sellers of firearms and ammunition in the country.
Many Wal-Mart locations have sold out of semi-automatic rifles since the school shooting, Bloomberg reports. The company's website says several guns are out of stock in five states. Prices for gun magazines were reportedly surging on eBay (EBAY), according to the news service.
Wal-Mart sells modern sporting rifles, the term the industry uses to describe weapons similar to the M-16 used by the military, in about 1,200 locations and does not sell high-capacity magazines for these weapons, according to Bloomberg. The news service quotes spokesman David Tovar as saying, "We remain dedicated to the safe and responsible sale of firearms in areas of the country where they are sold."
Sales of guns and ammunition have surged in the days after the Dec. 14 incident as buyers worried about a crackdown by President Barack Obama, who on Wednesday asked Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force on gun violence that will issue recommendations by next month. It seems likely that a new assault weapons ban will head to a vote in the Congress in the coming months that the political powerful gun lobby will have difficulty stopping.
Gun control advocates can't overplay their hand. Attacking Wal-Mart too aggressively for selling guns to people legally able to buy them could turn the retailer into a martyr for the Second Amendment. Customers will rally around the retailer, like people did when Chick-fil-A was attacked for its views on gay rights, and buy even more firearms and ammunition. Gun critics should ask themselves whether they prefer that people buy weapons through a multinational company which is accountable for its actions or a gun show dealer where restrictions are not as stringent.
Wal-Mart has to be careful as well. Perhaps the company believes that pressure to curtail gun sales, which includes an online petition, will die down as the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary fades from people's memories. That would be a mistake. The slaughter of 20 children and six educators is forever etched in the nation's consciousness.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
More from Money Now
I wish blowhard opinion writers would bother to understand firearms and firearms transactions before writing opinion pieces on them.
there was a guy that responded to one of my posts i put on here (among many that are no longer on here) and stated that this isn't the 1700s and the government is not oppressive....well.....like i said....all of my other posts were removed and i believe that's infringing on my 1st amendment right to free speech. i believe this is grounds for filing charges against whoever is monitoring this topic. unless of course you would like to put my other posts back up in a very timely fashion.
if you don't use your rights....you lose your rights!!!!!!!
The NRA answer to guns in society is to put an armed guard in every school? Public schools? So let me see if I've got this straight. The answer to right wing anti big government wacko paranoia.. is to arm big brother and put him in every school?????????????????
Wayne LaPierre. The face of pure evil.
When do you ever finally call it quits, Wayne? haven't you done Satan proud a long time ago?
If you don't understand the reasons behind the second amendment that is your own problem. If you would like to voluntarily concede your rights you are more than welcome to go ahead and do so, however you do not have the right to force me to relinquish my right to bear arms. Have you seen the movie idiocracy? Every day that passes convinces me that it was a documentary that was made before its time.
On I remember you people - the same under-educated small minded bunch that still think the President is a foreigner, and that gays and lesbians belong in therapy - or jail. Abortion? It's a baby's life, not a choice with you folks - though you somehow forget that when the talk turns to taking away your precious machine guns. What would Jesus do?
As a straight Republican I am ashamed to be associated with you.
Again guns are not the problem...people are the problem. Kids grow up with video games of war, and mass destruction. Violence is everywhere on tv and movie rentals. Humans subjected to this can actually act out and portray the fantasy world they have been playing and watching.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
Tired of constantly dying batteries, she came up with a device that could revolutionize energy storage -- and won $50,000 from Intel.
- Detroit in hot water over proposal to sell art
- Sears spirals toward oblivion
- Why aren't heads rolling at the IRS?
- Do we pay attention to roads and bridges now?
- Yahoo may be going after Hulu
- Apple's first computer could fetch $450,000
- AT&T adds sneaky fee onto its wireless bills
- Soaring ER use adds more pain to health costs
- Netflix gets 'Arrested Development' stars cheap
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks entered the weekend on a mixed note as the S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Dow ended with a gain of 0.1%.
The major averages began the day on a lower note as nine of ten sectors saw losses of more than 0.5%.
The consumer staples sector was the lone exception as the group spent the entire day in positive territory thanks to the relative strength of Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.89, +3.19). The second-largest staple stock advanced ... More
More Market News
Try as the bears might, they couldn't break US stocks. But investors still face frothy prices and considerable headwinds.