Right now, Walmart is being placed in something of a bind. They sell guns, you see, and there was a mass shooting at a Texas Walmart. Now, people are telling them they should stop selling guns.
Nevermind that the weapons they sell aren’t the ones typically used in mass shootings or anything. None of that matters to those who want Walmart out of the gun business.
Also, we have brainiacs like David Hogg who are happy to post stuff like this:
It’s harder to get cold pills than an AR-15.
Something needs to change.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) August 15, 2019
Well, Walmart sells both, so this could make for an interesting comparison. After all, many of us have purchased cold pills at Walmart. Now, I’m going to give young Mr. Hogg the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s referring to “cold pills” as things like Sudafed and other medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a medication used for sinus problems that has become restricted because of its use in the manufacturing of meth rather than all cold pills. After all, some you can buy just as easily as you can buy milk.
But with pseudoephedrine-containing meds, you have to show some ID and sign a paper. That’s about it.
Yet when a journalist tried to buy a gun from the retail giant, it showed she had a whole lot more to go through than just flashing an ID and signing something.
Overall, the experience left me with the impression that buying a gun at Walmart is more complicated than I expected, and that Walmart takes gun sales and security pretty seriously.
Here’s what led to that impression:
- Walmart does not make it easy to figure out which stores sell guns.
- The firearms at Walmart were locked inside a case and secured to one another with zip ties attached to a metal cord.
- Only certain employees can open the case and handle the firearms. These include sporting-goods associates or salaried managers who have passed both an enhanced background check and online training provided by Walmart, the company told me. The store employees abided by these rules while I was there.
- When I asked to purchase a gun, the Walmart employee who was authorized to sell guns called for backup to make sure the process was completed correctly.
- Walmart refused to sell me a gun when an authorized seller wasn’t present and when the address on my license didn’t match my home address, even though those issues could mean a lost sale.
- There were no advertising materials or promotions in the store to lure people to buy guns.
My experience could also help explain Walmart’s relatively small share of the US gun-sales market, despite the company’s size and reach.
The selection of firearms at the Walmart store I visited was extremely limited compared with other stores nearby that focus solely on selling guns.
I’ve looked at Walmart’s firearm selection in the past. I never bought a gun from Walmart because it’s a pain in the butt to even examine a rifle. They’re routinely lambasted for how few cashiers they keep on hand, but there are many more cashiers than there are authorized associates who can sell guns.
Frankly, based on what I see, I’m amazed they account for as large a percentage of gun sales in the nation as they do, which is still only about two percent.
Now, Walmart includes some barriers that aren’t mandated by federal law. However, there are quite a few of those hurdles that are, including the one that prevented the journalist from buying a gun. That’s right, matching addresses are required.
Also, requiring the purchaser to fill out a Form 4473 under penalty of perjury and completing a background check.
You don’t need that for cold medicine.
If nothing else, this particular article should be a handy addition to your arsenal when someone pops off with a claim similar to Hoggs. It’s patently false, but a common example of how little anti-gunners know about buying guns.
I suspect this journalist won’t be making similar claims anytime soon.