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“The world’s largest retailer stopped selling hunting rifles and bullets at all but a third of its U.S. stores five years ago, citing diminishing sales,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “It is now restoring them to hundreds of locations, bringing the total to nearly half of its more than 3,600 U.S. namesake stores, as part of a larger push to restore ‘heritage categories’ of merchandise such as fishing rods and bolts of sewing fabric that it removed in an attempt to go upscale that backfired.” Bolt action rifles next to bolts of material? OK, fine, but—“[firearms sales] growth has been mainly in handguns, which Wal-Mart won’t carry.” The article then quotes the Violence Policy Center study claiming U.S. firearms ownership is at a historic low. Which shows the VPC’s smarts and the media’s stupidity. And here’s the kicker . . .

It voluntarily agreed to adopt stricter gun sales policies in 2008 as part of a pact with Mayors Against Illegal Guns [MAIG], a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Wal-Mart caved to MAIG on April 14, 2008, agreeing to follow the gun grabbers’ sub-group’s “10-point Voluntary Code.” Which is:

  1. Videotaping the Point of Sale for All Firearms Transactions. Participating retailers will videotape the point-of-sale of all firearms transactions and maintain videos for 6 months to deter illegal purchases and monitor employees.
  2. Computerized Crime Gun Trace Log and Alert System. Mayors Against Illegal Guns will develop a computerized system that participating retailers will implement over time to log crime gun traces relating to the retailer. Once the program is in place, if a customer who has a prior trace at that retailer attempts to purchase a firearm, the sale will be electronically flagged. The retailer would have discretion to proceed with the sale or stop the sale.
  3. Purchaser Declaration. For sales flagged by the trace alert system, participating retailers will ask purchasers to fill out a declaration indicating that they meet the legal requirement to purchase the firearm.
  4. Deterring Fake IDs. Participating retailers will only accept valid federal- or state-issued picture IDs as primary identification. Retailers will utilize additional ID checking mechanisms.
  5. Consistent Visible Signage. Participating retailers will post signage created by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership to alert customers of their legal responsibilities at the point-of-sale.
  6. Employee Background Checks. Participating retailers will conduct criminal background checks for all employees selling or handling firearms.
  7. Employee Responsibility Training. Participating retailers will participate in an employee responsibility training program focused on deterring illegal purchasers. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership will create an online training system based on Wal-Mart’s training program.
  8. Inventory Checking. Participating retailers will conduct daily and quarterly audits. Guidelines will be based on Wal-Mart’s existing audit procedures.
  9. No Sales Without Background Check Results.Participating retailers would prohibit sales based on “default proceeds,” which are permitted by law when the background check has not returned a result within 3 days.
  10. Securing Firearms. Participating retailers will maintain firearms kept in customer accessible areas in locked cases or locked to racks.

MAIG’s Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership was a damp squib. No signage, no online training system, no website, not even a Facebook page! Ah, but does Wal-Mart videotape your gun purchase? That they do. Do they destroy the video? That we don’t know.

Last year, TTAG called the Mayor’s office last year and asked his PR guy if Wal-Mart contributed financially to MAIG or the otherwise failed Partnership. After repeated phone calls and online embarrassment, we finally got a response. “No.” Wal-Mart never returned our calls or emails.


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  1. Not that I’m an avid Wal-Mart shopper (I’ve been in a Wal-Mart exactly six times in the past ten years), but this strikes me as a good reason (or should I say, ‘yet another reason’) to stay the hell away from that place.

    Just on principle.

    Not that they’ll really miss my $32.76.

    As it is, I’d already been in the habit of patronizing my local mom ‘n pop gun shop on a regular basis, even for purchases of cleaning supplies and other minor items. Their prices are competitive (if not quite as low as a big-box shittailer like Wally World), their service is super, and keeping them in business ultimately benefits me.

  2. I don’t care how cheap their Winchester white box is, I will not buy guns and ammo from them.

  3. I buy stuff from them , but never shooting supplies. I try to patronize gun shops , sporting goods shops , or on-line shooting supplies suppliers . the cost difference is not much, and I’ve seen far too many of them go out of business. I want them to be arround when I need things box stores don’t have.

  4. We have not been able to purchase firearms in our WalMarts since Katrina. I live in Lafayette, LA and pretty anywhere South of here has seen a de facto moratorium on gun sales since that storm. Stores 60 miles North of here and 30 miles West will sell long guns but not here. It’s weird.

  5. I used to shop at my local Walmart until they stopped selling ALL shooting supplies a few years back. The only shooting supplies I bought from them were a few targets because I buy all my stuff from my favorite gun shop. I switched over to Target because I like their name and they have a cool sign, but they don’t sell any shooting supplies. I figure my favorite gun shop needs me more than the box stores, so I only buy my supplies from them.

  6. Local indoor range is now checking a sample of all ammo brought in. Claim is that cheap WalMart ammo is steel core and causes sparks on their steel backdrop. The range did burn down a coupla years ago, but I thought I heard that it was because someone brought in tracer.

    I have no idea of the veracity of the claim, but he passed my cartridges over a magnet before I could go shoot…

    I did buy a cheap .22 rifle at WalMart, but that’s about all I’d get from them.

    • You’re local indoor range is full of BS. Matter of fact, I’ll bet that during the past ammo shortage, the owner was buying Walmart ammo and reselling it at the range for a big profit.

  7. @Bill Johnson

    What would passing a magnet over the cartridges prove? Lead is ferrous. FMJ rounds have lead under their copper jacket.

    Also, I’m a bit dubious there is no such thing as “WalMart ammo” WalMart sells the same ammo that everyone else does.

    • Actually, lead is not ferrous and not detectable by magnet. Ferrous, by definition, means “contains iron” which is magnetic. If a bullet attracts a magnet then it has a steel core (or the shell casing is steel).

    • The sporting goods register is under recorded video surveillance 24/7, just like the electronics register(s), etc.

  8. The only time that I’m a big Walmart proponent is for the Wally Walk. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. It’s the CCW right of passage.

  9. @Rocketboy

    My range does this too. A steel core bullet causes a lot more damage to their metal target holders and they have a couple of examples at the front desk to prove it. Lead is not ferrous (How could it be? It’s a separate element — definitely no iron there) and a copper jacketed lead core bullet with a brass case will not stick to a magnet, while a magnet will easily detect a steel core bullet.

    And yeah, I’m not sure how anyone could complain about “Wal-mart ammo”. They have exactly the same WWB that Academy, Cabellas, and your local gun store sells.

  10. I, for one, will not cuss WalMart. Sorry guys, but they don’t post their stores “no citizen carry” like my former bank decided to do. Would I prefer WalMart sold stuff made in America and not by some starving Chinese person living in a shack made from pallets? Sure. Do I like buying 50 rounds of 9mm for $10? Oh, yeah. All in all almost everybody shops at WalMart because: decent prices, good inventory, service at least as good as other large stores, superior return policies, and their stores are very clean. So what if they video tape sporting goods sales? Heck, I would too. If you don’t like it, don’t pick your nose.

    WalMart has had hundreds (if not thousands) of requests to label their doors as “Gun Free Zones”. They have refused. They have tons of store managers. Some of them must prefer a no gun policy for customers but WalMart keeps a lid on them. We need to support all businesses that respect permit holders and WalMart is the biggest.

    And I am….. E. Zach Lee-Wright

  11. I can remember buying guns from Sears, Kmart, Fedmart, JC Penneys, etc. Not anymore. For most places, it is a straight business decision and nothing more. No politics, no bias. When the sporting goods dept decides that selling firearms is no longer profitable, they drop it.

    Same for your mom-n-pop gun stores, too, BTW. Except they go out of business instead of dropping a department. They are there to make a profit. The fact that they “specialize” simply means you might get better service or more variety, but it’s still about profit.

    Same with Academy Sporting Goods. I’ve asked if they do special orders and I’ve been told “no, only what you see here”. They only stock and sale the most popular, most profitable models and don’t care to carry anything else. Strictly a business decision.

    As for the MAIG 10 rules, the only one I have an issue with is the database. Everything else is mostly ok, hell, some of it is already required by law anyway.

    As for the Wal-Mart hate, it seems to be a cultural thing. Me? I’m thrilled that there is a store where I can one-stop-shop and get milk, underwear, ammo, and motor oil all under 1 roof.

  12. Another thought. If WalMart starts posting their doors “No Guns” there will be a flood of other businesses that will also. They are retailing leaders. Everyone else is a follower.

    WalMart has been really, really good to the gun rights community. Can you buy ammo from Target? Sears? Any other national retailer with true presence? WalMart quit selling handguns decades ago but they continue to sell rifles and shotguns. No one else does. The others either have quit guns or they have gone out of business altogether (anyone remember Montgomery Wards?).

    Full disclosure. I do NOT work at WalMart. I do NOT own WalMart stock. I DO refer to them as “Wally World”. I DO shop there and I generally don’t get upset when they change up their inventory. And, again, I am….. E. Zach Lee-Wright

  13. (anyone remember Montgomery Wards?).

    Remember? Hell, I betcha I could still find one of their catalogs in my closet. And I’ve moved several times since they went out of bidness!

  14. I spy a LOOPHOLE.
    Where’s the part in MAIG’s 10-point Voluntary Code that makes it illegal for the Feds to make people in Wal-Mart illegally sell legal guns to illegals, or other persons who can’t legally purchase a legal gun? ( As in the Fed’s Facetious and Infuriating and Projected Gunkillers programs? )
    Just asking.

  15. I avoid Walmart. I let them know why. Now that they’ve decided they need my business I may trade there again. BTW, Gander Mountain is tracking ammo sales by birth date now so be prepared to lie to ’em.

  16. While I’m not a Walmart fan, I shop there often. There’s a Supercenter less than two miles from my home. Before I retired last year, my office was across the street from it. Besides, as Don Curton points out, where else can you one-stop-shop for virtually everything? What do I dislike about Walmart? It’s a clearinghouse for Chinese-made products and Walmart likely contributed to the demise of American manufacturing with it’s demand that the goods it sells meet a low price point. Bought a Gerber knife lately? It’s probably made in Asia, it’s probably cheap and it’s probably a POS. I’m also not giving any sympathy to Walmart employees who cry about their low pay and poor benefits. The local Walmarts have the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced. No employee knows anything except when their next break is coming up and they spend most of their time yelling at each other across the store while they make mistakes on the register while checking out customers.

    Now that I’ve written this, I wonder why the hell I still shop there!

  17. The only thing Wally World can beat my local gun shop at is Federal birdshot. I don’t mind parting with a few more bucks per hundred to keep my local place in business.

  18. I actually had to use the Wal Mart store locater to find the nearest one to me. I went for a look. No guns. No ammunition. In Northern Virginia.

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