In the wake of mass shootings early this month, Walmart stores nationwide are being pressured to stop selling firearms and ammunition. The fact that the worst of the shootings (22 killed) occurred at one of their stores in El Paso, Texas, and another shooting killing two occurred at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, led many anti-gun advocates to attack Walmart’s policy of selling arms and ammunition in some of their stores.
Anti-Second Amendment provocateurs decried the “easy access” that Walmart, which accounts for about two percent of U.S. gun sales and approximately 20 percent of ammunition sales, supposedly allows. As of Sunday afternoon, nearly 140,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking for Walmart to stop selling guns.
Petersen hit many roadblocks on her journey to simply go on into Walmart and buy a gun. The blocks started before she even left her house. In doing online research to determine which Walmart to head to in order to buy a weapon (only about half of Walmart’s stores nationwide sell guns), Petersen found that Walmart does not advertise on its website that it sells lethal weapons. The only “guns” that appear on the website were non-lethal air-guns. It does, however, advertise a variety of gun cases and safes.
Stymied online, Petersen went old school and began placing calls to the Walmarts in her area. That didn’t turn out much better in her search for a weapon. “Over an hour and a half, I placed more than dozen calls to multiple stores, waited on hold for a combined 40 minutes, and got through to a human only three times. Three Wal-Mart employees told me they didn’t know which stores in the area sold guns.”
Petersen then attempted Walmart’s main customer service line, where a person told her, “When it comes to item availability, they don’t want us to discuss that because of various reasons.” In the end, all the customer service representative could tell her was that he knew of a store in the region that did not sell guns.
After hours of trying, Petersen finally got a hold of a Walmart Superstore in Chesterfield, Virginia, where an employee in the sporting goods department advised her that she could, in fact, purchase a firearm there.
She could have saved herself considerable time if she had known some ins and outs: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives maintains a listing of all approved firearm sellers sorted by state.
When Petersen arrived at the Chesterfield location, she found that all the firearms were locked in a case behind the sporting goods counter. There were no signs advertising or promoting that the Walmart sold guns.
On her first trip to the Chesterfield Walmart, a manager informed Petersen that she could not purchase a firearm that day since there was no authorized seller of firearms on duty that day. Walmart only allows certain employees who have passed an enhanced criminal background check and have completed annual training to sell guns.
Petersen was allowed to peruse the guns under the close supervision of the manager. Only long guns were available. Walmart stopped selling handguns in 1994.
The reporter then returned to the store at a time when an approved seller was available. The approved seller told her she could help her. Petersen was charged $2 for a federal background check and then given a state form to fill out, which she did.
The gun seller noted a problem before Petersen had even completed the form. Because she had recently moved, the address on her driver’s license did not match her current address on the application. In order to pass the background check, the two addresses had to match. Petersen was told that she must be able to prove with government documentation (a current automobile registration, for example) what her actual address was in order to purchase a gun.
Yet the Left in America wants people to believe that lunatics are walking into Walmarts across the nation and simply purchasing deadly weapons off the shelf. It’s a lie.
In its attempts to nullify the Second Amendment, the Left likes to promote the “easy access” to guns as a huge problem in the United States. But “easy access” to legal firearms in America is a myth. In fact, as Petersen’s experience shows, it has become increasingly difficult to purchase a gun in a country whose Constitution explicitly allows and encourages gun ownership.
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