A spokesman for the world’s largest retailer, and the country’s largest seller of guns and ammunition said Jan. 9 the company will meet Jan. 10 with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., regarding his efforts to restrict gun rights after first declining the invitation.
“Knowing our senior leaders could not be in Washington this week, we spoke in advance with the vice president’s office to share our perspective,” said David Tovar, the vice president for corporate communications at Walmart, based in Bentonville, Ark. That message found its way into the press.
“We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate,” he said. “Walmart, like the rest of the country, has been engaged in a national dialogue about the responsible sale and regulation of firearms.” Walmart does not report its firearms sales separately.
“We take this issue very seriously and are committed to staying engaged in this discussion as the administration and Congress work toward a consensus on the right path forward,” he said.
Biden, the author of the 1994 crime law that banned so-called assault rifles for 10 years, was tasked by President Barack Obama to fashion a response to the gun violence in America that will curtail gun rights now in place.
Tovar said the retail giant, whose founder Sam. M. Walton opened his first store in 1962 in Rogers, Ark., is also working with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who leads the gun control advocacy groups called Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“We have had ongoing conversations with the administration, Congress, Mayor Bloomberg’s office, sportsmen groups, suppliers and others to listen and share our thoughts and experiences,” he said.
“Over the years we have been very purposeful about striking the right balance between serving hunters and sportsmen and ensuring that we sell firearms responsibly,” he said.
“In fact, we became a charter member of Mayor Bloomberg’s coalition against illegal guns and adopted the 10-point code established by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership that goes beyond what the law requires,” the Walmart spokesman said.