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Seems the super stores may not be that super for some.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has decided to stop selling guns in about a third of its U.S. stores in what it calls a marketing decision based on lack of demand in some places, a company spokeswoman said Friday

Not sure if ammo sales will stop also but it seems likely. Is WalMart the only place to get Winchester White box?

SayUncle Adds: Since I was going to write about it and saw gunner beat me to it, I’ll add it here. At Facing South, they cover the issue:

The Violence Policy Center, a gun control group, said Wal-Mart’s decision reflected what it called a decline in gun ownership. “The marketplace has spoken and the losers are America’s gun industry and the gun lobby,” VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann said in a statement.

Once again, they’re lying. Post 9/11 and post Katrina and for other reasons, gun sales are up.

Additionally, Chris notes:

It’s all part of the Wal-Mart’s efforts to go upscale, trading in the plastic crap and blue collar goods image for wine bars, boutique styling, and cardigan sweaters.

Surely, those blogging for a Progressive South aren’t intimating that gun owners (of which there are an estimated 100,000,000 in this country) are all low-brow, blue collar types? Doesn’t sound very progressive.

Gunner adds

I just finished talking to a manager at WalMart and he said that they were told it would be the bottom 20% performing stores that would stop selling firearms. He also mentioned that the southern district(?) were the big sellers so we did not have to worry.

Since one of the main reasons I do not shop at Target is the fact that they do not sell firearms I think this will mean a loss of one customer.

21 Responses to “Walmart”

  1. Sebastian Says:

    They just opened a new Wal-Mart near me in Bensalem, which borders Northeast Philadelphia. It does not sell firearms, but still sells ammunition, air rifles, and other shooting supplies. I think I agree with the take of others around the blogosphere that this is just a business decision. I shop at Wal-Mart sometimes, but I never and probably would never buy a firearm at a big box store, save maybe Cabelas. I’d rather buy my firearms from someone who makes their livelihood selling guns. These people are on our side, and if they start closing down we lose powerful allies in the fight to keep our rights.

  2. countertop Says:

    There was a Sports Authority down the road from me that stopped selling firearms last fall for very much the same reason. Around here, golf is just much more popular.

  3. Bitter Says:

    Sales of new guns don’t seem to be up. Pittman-Robertson collections are actually down.

  4. Josh Says:

    Of the five or six in my county, only two stock ammo and shooting supplies, and only one still sells guns. The others are all in neighborhoods where I’m sure WalMart is trying to avoid liability in selling WWB to ‘bangers, or where the wine aisle really is a bigger seller.

  5. Les Jones Says:

    Bitter: From those links the 2006 numbers were $233 million and the 2005 numbers were $235 million. Not much of a difference.

  6. Publicola Says:

    the PR tax is 11% if I recall. The 2 million drop in the tax revenue represents roughly a 22 million dollar drop in actual sales. Not sure what the civilian arms market in the u.S. is worth, but if it’s shy of 2.2 billion then that’s a noticable hit. Course it’s just a rough indicator.

    55,000 FFL’s (according to the folks at the ATFU hearings in the House last month). With Wally World scaling back that should only knock it down to 54,000 but it’s still disturbing, especially if Wally figures out he can do without the firearm revenue. Not that it’d be a big hit by itself, but it could start a trend for chain stores to get out of the arms biz. Good for local dealers, but I think bad for overall numbers. & bad for society, as I think seeing guns in wally world & other such places helps (a little) to get folks used to the idea of other folks having arms. Yeah I know it freaks some people out, but those aren’t the ones on the fence to begin with.

  7. countertop Says:

    I think your right publicola about the firearms at wally world impacting the general public. Still, Wally is all about making a profit and floor space is valuable, if they can sell something else there in certain markets, then more power to them. If there is a demand, the market will continue to serve that demand.

    Alot of Wal Marts already don’t sell guns – look at New Jersey or LA – so I really didn’t see this is news.

  8. t3rrible Says:

    I can’t stand to go in there. All of the stores in my area are badly run and poorly maintained. I thought Wally had stopped selling firearms awhile back. So I guess I am behind on that but not going to miss out on anything either.

    I think I am still ahead of the game.

  9. Matt Says:

    While local gun stores thrive…

    My local wal mart sells guns as well, shotguns, rifles, ammo and they can FFL transfer other weapons too, like full autos and handguns, but those are all special orders that the customer arranges.

    I live closer to the gun store than I do to wal-mart.

  10. Captain Holly Says:

    Pittman-Robertson covers more than guns. I think it also includes fishing gear and other such stuff. So it’s not a perfect indicator of gun sales.

    In Utah, Gart Sports carries WinWhiteBox. In fact, that’s where I go every Ammo Day to get my supply.

    As for gun sales, they’re actually a kind of inverse indicator of how the status of the RKBA is perceived by gun owners. During bad times when Sugarmann and his ilk are stirring up trouble in Washington gun sales skyrocket, like they did in the late 70’s and in the 90’s; back then sales of new guns averaged between 4.5 and 6 million per year. During the 80’s, gun owners felt more secure, and sales averaged around 3.5 million/year.

    Also, the market for guns has changed. Sales of traditional hunting weapons, like bolt-action scoped rifles and long shotguns, are declining. But sales of Cowboy-style lever actions, “assault weapons”, small concealable handguns and home-defense shotguns are going strong.

    I think it’s perfectly normal that gun sales would fall from their post-9/11 and Katrina spikes. With the Republicans in charge most gun owners don’t feel that there’s any real threat of new gun control passing. If Hillary Clinton ever became president, there’d be another round of panic-buying, especially if the Demos retake one or both houses of Congress.

  11. Bitter Says:

    No, Dingell-Johnson covers fishing gear, and those numbers are off by about $5 million this year, too.

  12. Captain Holly Says:

    I’m wondering what effect Katrina and Rita had on those numbers. They both hit just before hunting seasons started. If a significant amount of gun owners in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas weren’t able to go hunting I’m sure it would more than account for that small difference.

  13. Ron W Says:

    Captain Holly,

    I remember reading and hearing reports that gun sales spiked in Louisiana after Katrina due to the influx of many displaced people from New Orleans into surrounding areas. In that New Orleans had an inordinately high crime rate, I’m sure people were buying the means of personal self-defense which is the first and most important reason to keep and bear weapons. Hunting is a secondary use for guns after the RIGHT of armed self-defense.

    I also agree with your assessment re: the political threat–or that from the “legalized version” of criminals; again like what happened in post-Katrina New Orleans where the government engaged in armed robbery of peaceable, law-abiding citizens in New Orleans by confiscating their guns–by men with guns, of course.

    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie
    the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not
    become the legalized version of the first.”–Thomas Jefferson

  14. Alcibiades Says:

    Technically, tax revenues from guns could decrease while units shipped remained the same or increased.

  15. Dr. Strangegun Says:

    I think they’re dropping them for two reasons. One, it’s floor space for a product that’s not selling well in those markets.

    Two, and most importantly, it’s a liability. ATF wants those 4473s perfect to the letter. Would you trust a walmart clerk to get it right, every time? Would you like ATF storming your neighborhood walmart and seizing the entire sporting goods section because a couple of 4473s aren’t signed properly?

  16. Stormy Dragon Says:

    >I do not shop at Target is the fact that they do not sell firearms

    So do you refuse to shop at ANY store that doesn’t sell firearms (I’m sorry, your deli does not sell firearms, so I will not shop there)?

  17. David Says:

    Well, not all the Wal-Mart’s in the south are “safe” Here in Fayetteville NC (home of Ft. Bragg, the 82 Airborne, JSOC, and at least one super secret squirrel club) the main Wal-Mart remodeled their sporting goods section and will no longer be carrying guns.

  18. gunner Says:

    No. I do not shop Target because i asked where their firearms were and the floor manager said the coorporation were against firearm and ammo sales. I assume that they had the ability but due to political or social beliefs did not sell them. Well I have social beliefs that keep me from shopping there.

  19. Brutal Hugger Says:

    Walmart is a convenient place to buy ammo, but I prefer smaller shops more focused on shooting.

    Walmart is fanatically driven by profit. I doubt they’d give up on guns if they could make more money there than whatever they’re going to use the floorspace for.

  20. Stormy Dragon Says:

    There’s a difference between Target being against firearms and Target simply not selling them.

  21. Emily Fross Says:

    Since when is Wal-Mart high style? if they really think getting rid of guns is going to class them up, they better start looking a bit more into their hiring practices and employee treatment. As well as their product quality. I only shop at Wal-Mart because Im a poor stay at home mom—just like every other penny pinching customer they have. Give me a break

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