walmart ammunition sales
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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Just a happy little side effect of New Mexico’s new “universal” background check law.

The retailer is not equipped to conduct checks for private sales, Walmart spokeswoman Tiffany Wilson said. Employees and customers could be put in danger by people bringing in guns seeking checks for private sales, she said.

“Unlike a specialty sporting goods retailer where customers expect to see firearms of various types being handled, Walmart customers do not generally expect to see individuals walking through the store potentially carrying multiple firearms, which can lead to confusion and potentially putting both our customers and associates at risk,” Wilson told KOAT-TV .

Walmart stores primarily cater to hunters and sporting clay shooters, Wilson said. The stores do not sell handguns or modern sporting rifles.

Walmart Plans to Cease Gun Sales at New Mexico Stores

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  1. Translation: they don’t want to be bothered, and firearms aren’t enough of a profit center for them to be worth the hassle. Outside of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, maybe, I seriously doubt many of their New Mexico customers would have a fit of the vapors from seeing a gun.

      • Walmart isn’t a sporting good store and instead of placating to the anti’s with stopping sales of AR’s in all their stores, Walmart is just saying it’s not worth it for them to continue to sell guns in a single state.

        As long as Walmart continues to sell ammo, I’m happy. The guns Walmart sells are super generic rifles like 10/22’s and Savage Axis bolt guns anyway, nothing you can’t quite literally get anywhere else.

        • California WalMarts stopped selling all guns years ago after a snafu with their inventory and regulatory compliance/record keeping. And when the new ammo law kicked in, they stopped selling ammunition too. No big loss.

        • @Mark,

          Actually, Walmart removed ammunition from 40 of its CA locations in 2018, and a few more so far in 2019. For those stores that will continue (because they still want to have people like me enter their store on the hopes that I’ll buy some other things as well as long as I’m there), they’re implementing the new CADOJ procedures. As of today, no Walmarts will sell ammo until at least July 12 due to the complicated implementation and training for the background checks.

          And so far, I’ve read on other sites that other companies have already been experiencing big problems (wow! aren’t we all surprised?) with the CADOJ database, and instead of the promised 90-second wait, the average timeframe has been almost 30 minutes.

          Sacramento has absolutely no clue how to do anything properly.

      • I open carry everyday everywhere and Walmart stores have never given me any issues. The Walmart in Beavercreek Ohio actually welcomed us into the store with our long guns for a memorial/protest walk over the shooting of John Crawford III. We were a very large group of well armed individuals. So far, I am not aware of Walmart taking a stance anywhere near Dick’s anti-gun Seppuku. Walmart has simply followed state law on firearm related carry.

  2. Employees and customers could be put in danger by people bringing in guns seeking checks for private sales, she said.

    Geez, those are the only people they *don’t* have to worry about. I really don’t understand how people think — people with bad intent can and do bring guns wherever they intend to use them, regardless of laws and signs, but people who just want a transfer background check are to be feared because the magic gun might suddenly make them go crazy during the background check.

  3. I’m confused. What part of this law obligates Wal-Mart or for that matter any FFL to conduct private sale background checks on firearms not in their store inventory?

      • No it isn’t. Part of the law requires them to do it. Why are you trying to speak definitively about something you’re ignorant of?

        • That was my understanding as well, that the new law requires any FFL-01 to facilitate a private sale background check upon request. They log it in to their books, conduct the background check and then transfer to the buyer. Walmart is saying, “nope, not gonna happen for us. We haven’t done it in the past and won’t be doing it now”.

          Not sure why they threw in “safety of their customers” or whatever. They could have just left it as “that isn’t our business model and it introduces too much risk and uncertainty by adopting a new business model to comply with the law. So Walmart stores in New Mexico will be ceasing sales of firearms so as not to run afoul of the new law by not providing private transaction background checks as required by the new law”.

    • None. Do your private transactions as you please. Just make sure you trust and know who you’re doing it with. Fuck the government. After all, that’s what the Founding Fathers said when they signed a document on an anniversary a few days ago.

    • The law NM passed actually compells all FFLs to conduct private transfers for no more than $35. So not only does the law strip individual property rights, it also compells private business practice with price fixing.

      • Seems like that would be a good basis for a lawsuit. I wonder if someone will file it. I would encourage them to file it and start a fund raising and awareness campaign to stop this atrocious, infringing law.

      • Bingo ! NM has turned Purple and this is the sort of intrusive and overstepping New Mexicans can expect.
        I don’t agree w Wally World on this but I fully understand their decision. From a business, liability and pure aggravation perspective, who needs it.

      • More evidence of how leftist ideology leads to slavery: If you hold X license you there for must Y. Forcing anyone to do anything is heady stuff, such as paying taxes. Given their way health care will be a “right ” thus essentially enslaving healthcare workers.

        The very notion that government can compel you to do something ought to be carefully considered. At the point it compels such trivialities, government needs reigned in.

    • This part of the law does:

      “(2) a prospective firearm seller who does
      not hold a current and valid federal firearms license issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 923(a) shall arrange for a person who does hold that license to conduct the federal
      instant background check. A federal firearms licensee shall not unreasonably refuse to perform a background check pursuant to this paragraph”

      Walmart’s claim is that since the law forces them into the background check business for private sales, so long as their NM stores hold an FFL, they’d rather just give up their FFLs and get out of the gun selling business in NM altogether.

      I don’t know their gun sales figures. Maybe they genuinely do figure it’s better to exit that product line than be forced into conducting private sales background checks.

  4. No local Wallyworlds even sell guns. The closest one near Rt. 30 in Indiana has a pathetic selection of shotguns but they got ammo. Methinks they don’t care especially how quickly they jumped on the “no sales” under 21 bandwagon. F##k ’em😫

    • You are about half right.

      The excuse that customers would be scared seeing guns is BS for most customers throughout most of the state, but some of what they said did make sense and there are other good reasons for stores in New Mexico where gun sales are a minor side line are dropping their FFL and doing away with gun sales….

      The problem is the part of the NM law that forces all FFLs to do background checks for private gun sales. This means that Walmart would have to do background checks for any customer who wants to bring in any gun(s) to sell to anyone else.

      So, realistically, how many total idiots who don’t even know what a gun shop is, are going to be wandering into their local Walmart because they want to sell their gun(s) to someone else? Probably not a lot of them, but still probably more than Walmart wants to be bothered with.

      Of those idiots who wander into walmart to work a deal selling someone a gun, how many will be too stupid to make sure the gun is unloaded first? Way too damn many (if you don’t believe that, ask your local gun shop how many idiots come in and pull out a loaded gun that they want to sell or want to know something about). How many Walmart employees know how to handle a gun and how to make sure it is unloaded?

      Of the idiots who wander into walmart to work a deal selling someone a gun, how many of the buyers will either fail the background check or get a delay instead of an instant approval? How many will be irate? Even if these clowns don’t get upset, can you blame walmart for not wanting a bunch of clowns hanging around with guns just waiting for the background check to clear or not clear?

      Walmarts are open 24/7 but most walmarts that do sell guns have only one or two employees who are trained to work gun sales. How often do you see anyone actually working the sporting goods counter? So what happens when someone comes in wanting a backgound check for a private transfer and there isn’t anyone there to do it? The NM law requires ALL FFLs to do private transfer background checks, but the law doesn’t say anything about an FFL where the store is open but doesn’t have anyone working the gun counter – can these customers demand that Walmart do the background check when the ‘gun guy’ isn’t there? Looking at the law, I’d say that yes they can demand that because the FFL is in the name of the store, not some employee.

      The simple fact is that no walmart is making enough money selling guns for management to want to deal with all the hassles. I’m surprised that there are any walmarts still selling guns at all. Walmarts add and drop products all the time based entirely on how much profit the store makes PER SQUARE FOOT of store space for that product — guns don’t bring in nearly as much profit as groceries, or toasters, or pots & pans, or TVs or just about anything else the store sells.

      Most Walmart store managers are just looking for an excuse to stop bothering with guns without getting a bunch of stupid comments like the ones here (99% of those comments come from people who would never buy a gun at walmart anyway, but the stores don’t want the bad publicity).

  5. Walmart in California only sold cheap($300) Marlin lever action rifles, Mossberg shotguns, and some .22 rifles. Wal-Marts around me discontinued firearms when Marlin stopped making cheap lever actions in the late 90’s. Most Wal-Marts stopped selling ammo over the last 5 years; most sporting good stores followed the same path while they sell guns in Arizona. It probably doesn’t make sense to devote shelf space to highly regulated (=expensive to carry) product that does not move much volume.
    A combination of regulation and urbanization is enough to kill Wal-Mart gun sales.

    • I wish I could object, I mean really I’d like to say you’re wrong…but you’re so right, on basically every point. If I managed a Wal-Mart I’d want out of gun sales, too much hassle, not enough profit. Given UBCs I’d be screaming no to gun sales…and I love guns! Even here in southern Ohio and NE Kentucky I don’t see why wal Mart carries guns, ammo sure, that’s awesome, but guns? I’ve never actually seen a gun sold at Wal-Mart, and I don’t know anyone who has purchased a gun at Wal-Mart.

      UBCs suck for so many reasons, but wally world ceasing gun sales is basically a non issue.
      Now, if they stop selling ammo…GD!!! bar the door Katie!

  6. Welcome to my world. Wally world stopped selling guns years ago here and they recently gave up on ammo.

  7. Walmart should really just stop selling guns and keep their paltry selection of ammo and accessories. Ditch the FFL.

    Can’t say I blame them for the stance, although the statement is poorly worded. People bringing in firearms to tie up a sales associate for 20 or 30 minutes (if they’re lucky) for the NICS check to come through at a time when decent employees willing to work for $11/hr are damn near impossible to find. I wouldn’t want that for my business either.

    • But if an employee is able to do 2-3 PPT sales per hour at $35 each the store would receive between $70-$105 while paying the employee $11. Since no merchandise is actually being sold wouldn’t that be straight profit?

      • Problem with that (especially if they’re charging the full $35) is that an individual store would likely get more like 2 or 3 a month and at least a large portion of the workforce would have to be trained. And you’d have to make sure that someone qualified was there at the sporting goods counter at all times, which would be a giant pain in the ass for any store that’s open 24hrs/day. And what about when the NICS system goes down and they have to wait the 72 hours, etc. At some point, even if the store could turn a slight profit doing it, the time and effort required would pay off better someplace else.

        • Yep. There are a lot of kitchen FFLs who thought the same thing and then only later realized that it’s not as simple as it might appear at first.

        • Also I seem to recall that an FFL holder is required to show a profit within something like three years or else A.ttitude T.oward F.reedom E.verywhere will assume that the FFL holder is simply working a hobby. They assume! Take that word and do this with it: ass|u]me it makes an ass out of u and me.

        • Never heard or seen that on needing to make a profit. So long as you are posting business hours publicly (and have a publicly available place of business, even if it is out of your home, you’ll need a home office with a separate entrance to the outside that the public can access during posted business hours. Kitchen table is no long allowed, but you can come close) and are showing that you are doing some business, plus complying with state licensing and premise laws and complying with whatever the federal laws are on storage, etc. you are fine.

          One of my (sort of) local FFLs I love runs his FFL out of his business. He is by appointment and open every Wednesday from (IIRC) noon to 5. Has a home office with a separate entrance to the outside (and a pretty thick security door to it). It is basically a ~120sq-ft room with an attached storage room for his inventory. Usually doesn’t keep much on hand. His business is about 80% doing transfers for people (online orders and transfer or handgun transfers as our state bans face-to-face handgun transfers), occasionally ordering something for someone directly and a bit of stock.

          Now the IRS is going to consider you a hobby and not a business if you hit your 3rd year and don’t show a profit. I’ve never heard of the ATF talking to the IRS and then yanking your FFL because the IRS considers you a hobbyist because you aren’t showing a profit. It would be easy enough on the IRS front. You are not REQUIRED to use deductions and write-offs for a lot of stuff. So if you were that scared about it, you can’t just decide not to write some expenses and what not off, show a very small profit and pay the taxes on the very small profit and you are a business.

  8. Anyone know how much of Walmart’s income is from any gun sales? Dick’s didn’t care about gun sales. I wonder if Walmart cares. Around here Dicks doesn’t even sell “protective eyewear”. The reason: salesman said “We don’t sell any gun accessories here.” Too funny.

    • Dicks corporate website sells Walker Game Ear Shooting Glasses, Daisy Shooting Glasses, as well as a “Dick’s Exclusive” Field & Stream Multi-Lens Shooting Glass Set,

      But if your store doesn’t carry those, just ask for Racquetball Glasses which will get you clear shooting glasses under the Head brand name – the only difference is that as “racquetball glasses” they are only in clear (no yellow lenses) and come with a neck strap to catch them when they fall off (and they also cost more)

  9. Fortunately gun sales are one area Wal-Mart never had a monopoly on.
    Who would go to Wal-Mart to do a transfer anyway? I’ve transferred guns through a LGS to people I didn’t know very well, a big box store like Pricks was never considered.

  10. They didn’t want to have any more instances of overzealous cops killing customers because a snowflake got triggered and called 911.

  11. ARs or shotguns, if we could import guns from China, Walmart would be all over them. They simply can’t generate sufficient margins from the stock they can carry, to justify the space. Walmart has been gradually spooling down its firearms sector for years; first ARs, and within a few more years of “Trump slump” they’ll probably stop carrying firearms altogether. Ammo probably moves enough to be worth the cost, but the handful of cheap bolt actions & shotguns they carry now doesn’t justify the paperwork.

    • Wal-Mart made plenty on .22 ammo by holding it back from the shelves. I hope the assholes got stuck with a few dozen pallets when the prices dropped.

      • They weren’t “holding it back from the shelves”. Minimum wage employees got smart, and started buying it as soon as it hit the dock, to resell off-retail for a decent bump in their salary. Can’t even blame them, really. 👍

  12. The key to understanding Walmart’s financial success is that they study every aspect of their sales and marketing in microscopic detail. If the return on investment is there, they go that way, whatever it is.

    This law took the profit out of it for them in any number of ways. From having to hire more knowledgeable staff to safely handle walk-in private sale transfers, to tying up that worker for a longer period of time, to examining the liability insurance impact of more guns being carried thru the store all the dollars fell out of it with this law.

    Studying all aspects of every product and service down to fractions of a penny is a major part of Walmart’s success. This law tossed a monkey wrench into their gun business.


    • Guns and ammo were loss leaders for Walmart to bring in buyer for outdoor gear. As areas urbanized, Walmart stopped selling hunting/camping stuff and guns/ammo.
      One Walmart out of the way still carried fishing stuff and sold ammo (no guns) but stopped selling ammo months ago discontinuing ammo to liquidate it.
      Dicks also discontinued guns and ammo years ago, because no one bought overpriced bolt actions; what used to be the gun section is archery/fishing. Now Dicks is the only local store that carries archery.

  13. WalMart is the largest retailer of firearms in the USA. It is bad for our sport if this becomes a trend.

    • Walmart might be the largest retailer who also happens to sell firearms, but I doubt they they are the largest seller of firearms — even when you add up all all the firearms sold at all the Walmart stores, there just aren’t that many Fudds buying guns at Walmart.

      If every Walmart in the country dropped their FFL, probably a dozen people would notice.

    • I pretty sure someone already said it: Wal Mart might be the “largest retailer of guns” but only because they are the largest retailer. When it comes to firearms sales wal Mart isn’t even in the top 10 for volume. If every walmart stopped selling guns today the market in gun sales wouldn’t even take a dip. Wal Mart has never been the go to place to buy a gun.

    • More guns are not sold at Wal-Mart then are sold. Firearms are uniquely sold through scores of small retailers.

    • Agreed.

      If the title was “New Mexico ‘Dicks Stores’ stop Selling Guns” this blog would have exploded in vitriol.

      Walmart’s policies are very similar to Dicks. The main difference is Dicks virtue signaling.

      Therefore, two questions; why does Walmart receive a free “hall pass”?

      And is this Hypocritical?

      • At the time Dick’s starting stepping on themselves, many of us said that if they’d simply decided to take their business a different direction due to margins, there’d be no hard feelings; we all suspected that was the real reason. But noooooo, their ass-douche CEO had to personally go around for several weeks making a big political to-do about it, and how those little Satan’s helpers activist “nuns” were the reason for the move, and how big money needs to start throwing its weight around to effect policy as a workaround to the protections afforded by our government.

        That’s why Walmart’s move is different.

        • Well said. Wal Mart is making a move based on business sense whike Dicks (why does my auto correct change that to “Sucks”) introduced it as a virtue signalling misguided decision that has seriously harmed their business. One just wants to get along while the other goes out of its way to say “screw you”. If you can’t see the difference, I don’t know what to say.

      • It’s a different situation than Dick’s. Walmart made a sound business decision and, given the circumstances, I wouldn’t allow my business to be forced into doing background checks at $35 for everyone. Walmart simply doesn’t sell that many firearms and to keep employees on the clock that are qualified to do the background checks would be a losing proposition. It’s a whole can of worms for little, if any, profit.

        Also, Walmart has certainly not gone anti-gun (yet)…

  14. This actually makes sense.

    First, I believe that Jim is correct above, if you possess an FFL as a public business in NM you are now required to run a BGC for no more than $35 and every Walmart I’ve seen in NM sells a moderate selection of long guns and a surprisingly good selection of ammo of all types.

    Second, NM is really rather poor and people may think that the “best deal” for a BGC on a private sale is at Walmart. The other remaining FFL in Santa Fe already charged $30 last I was there.

    Third, Walmarts in NM are absolute shit magnets for the homeless, drug addicts, drunks and illegals as it is. Parking lot violence isn’t a rarity. Adding in people bring guns for private sale advertises a rich feeding ground for criminals who are already there to sell drugs or the people already there who are just crazy or shitbirds.

    I mean fuck, Santa Fe told the cops not to enforce laws against public heroin use and were shocked that the Plaza was suddenly covered in junkies and needles.

    All in all this is a headache Walmart doesn’t want.

  15. I bought a lot of .22 for plinking at Albuqurque Wal-Mart when we were holidaying there two years ago. Local gun shop was still charging triple price.

    More intervention in peoples life by virtue signalling political hacks in the name of safety.

  16. It seems from this report that that law increased the hassle-cost of being in the gun business, thereby reduced the availability of guns n ammo to law abiding people, n visibility of guns in the culture, n rendering some people more exposed to 3rd party violence; hitting poorer people harder.

    So, working as intended, yes?

  17. I can’t blame Walmart but I am sure this was an intended consequence of these new stupid gun laws. The law could have easily been written to exempt big box retail stores that don’t staff a “gun counter” all the time they are open but the anti gunners did not do that. Illinois tried to pass a similar law that would have forced FFLs to do a FFL transfer for $10 for a private sale. it so far has not gone through but that also would have caused a lot of chaos with gun stores/FFLs who around here charge $35 – $70 to do a FFL transfer.

  18. My local Wal Marts will not make firearms sales to Illinois residents (just across the river from Illinois). They said the reason is that they must abide by the Illinois waiting period before the customer can pick up the firearm. They don’t want a customer’s property in their safe/secured room overnight. The first time the Gander here closed the liquidator would not make sales to Illinoisans either because of that rule.

  19. There are about 500 plus other better gun stores to buy your guns from than walmart. Buy your toothpaste and mouth wash from them and leave the gun sales to the Professionals.

  20. New Mexico was turning into a shit state 5 years ago when I left. Glad I don’t live there anymore.

  21. And why can’t they just refuse to handle private sales but continue their own sales? Was that part of the law? Every FFL has to be willing to handle private sales too?

  22. I hate buying firearms at the big box stores anyways. They announce over the intercom that they need a manager for a firearms purchase and then they march you through the store and shove you out the door with an unloaded weapon after announcing it to anyone who just might want a new gun without having to pay for it. Course I haven’t bought a gun from the big stores in a long time and I didn’t have a ccw then.

    • Well, I open carry at least one firearm so it is never been a problem. The clerks used to chuckle because they were “escorting” me to the front for some ammo (or a shotgun) when I carried at least two loaded firearms on me; one clearly in the open.

      BTW, there’s nothing wrong with carrying a concealed weapon. However, if you are escorted to the front as you describe and your loaded weapon is hidden, what is to deter a criminal from trying to rob you of your purchase anyway? They don’t know you are armed. If they were going to try, they would’ve if you were unarmed or concealed. You would be forced to either give in or fight in such a situation. There’s little to no deterrent from their perspective.

      Put another way, someone who is concealing a firearm very well appears no harder a target than someone who is unarmed. A criminal inclined to attack has no way of knowing so they potentially attack the unarmed and the well concealed alike. They look like the same target to a criminal; soft.

      *** I do both concealed and open carry so I don’t have an axe to grind. I don’t like exclusion of one or the other. Just putting the question out there. ***

  23. Here in Colorado, Walmart is still selling guns and ammunition. They stopped carrying AR’s a dozen years back, but still sell the ammo. I’m actually a friend and range mentor to the current Sporting Goods Dept. Manager at one of 3 Walmarts locally, a good kid who does give a damn and is eager to learn. They’re allowed a certain level of autonomy store to store and district to district. Some items will be the same regardless of the store, but within reason, they can tailor their offerings to a degree to their clientele. Of the 3 local stores, he’s the only one carrying reloading components and some tools. Tool wise, it’s all RCBS, but components like bullets, he has Hornady, Speer, and Barnes on hand in the more popular calibers and weights. They carry Hogdon, IMR and Accurate powders, yet only CCI primers (Walmart Corporate probably has a deal with RCBS and its affiliates).

    • Chuck, Walmart will stop selling guns and ammo over the next 3 to 4 years in all of their stores. They are phasing out sporting goods. You will no longer be able to purchase any fishing or hunting products except in a very few select stores close to lakes etc.

  24. What happened to the Walmart walk? You know you get that new gun and just have to CCW the thing at the local Wally World to see how it carries… Or you get that new 1911 and you have to open carry the thing for all to see…

  25. Walmart is not telling the true story. Not only are they going to stop selling in NM they are going to stop selling company wide. They will be phasing out their sporting goods department over the next 3 to 4 years

  26. Reading all the blogs about Wal-Mart, firearms (long guns) not something you would buy to hunt with, maybe squirrels or such.
    Those in OHIO know little or nothing about NM and it’s citizens, we have enough problems with our Govenor antics. California, easy to understand, you don’t know who is Legal or illegal, you welcome all, your causing your own problem.
    Wal-Mart should never be requested to check a private sale, local Sheriff can help with that.

  27. Loved Ardents comment)-
    If Walmart were to stop selling ammo) GD!!! Bar the doors Katie!!!
    I think sums it up right their!!
    I’ve read every statement= great, smart, comprehensive analysis!! Extremely knowledgeable!! Of the situation Walmart’s in.
    And I’ve read all the replies)-again great, smart, comprehensive, extremely knowledgeable.
    I truly enjoyed this! I have read many situations about companies and what they are doing & why. Everyday, all day. But I have never run across a more knowledgeable group of people talking about a sensitive & hot button subject and not losing their shirt about it!! And they call you the deplorable ones the dummies, the uneducated. Boy I tell you that is Not what I see here!! Can’t wait to right up this report concerning this state and it’s people with their opinion on this. Way to go New Mexico!!

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