Walmart faces opposition in plan to expand gun sales
WFAA-Dallas/Fort Worth
Posted on April 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Wal Mart faces opposition in plan to expand gun sales
FORT WORTH — Guns are returning to hundreds of Walmart stores nationwide, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The news has brought a tough response from some local religious leaders.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is questioning the decision by the retail giant, believing greater access to weapons could lead to more violence.

Five years ago, Walmart stopped selling shotguns and rifles at many stores. Today, however, a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that hundreds of stores will get them back.

About one-third of Walmart stores had carried the firearms, according to the newspaper. About half of Walmart's 3,600 stores will now offer rifle and shotgun sales.

"Walmart had appeared to be a responsible corporate entity, but I guess with the recession they're trying to find any way feasibly possible... but at what expense?" asked Rev. Kyev Tatum, who heads the Fort Worth chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Out of more than 40 Walmart stores listed in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, News 8 found only two that currently sell rifles and shotguns. It is unclear how the company's decision will affect the North Texas, but Rev. Tatum is not waiting to find out.

"We're going to oppose it," Tatum said. "Hopefully we'll get an opportunity to speak with someone with Walmart at some point in time. This is still early in the game for us. They didn't ask us, but we're encouraging people not to buy the guns."

According to the Wall Street Journal report, Walmart decided to restore gun sales after realizing they were a bigger draw for some customers than had first been realized.

Walmart says gun sales will still generally be sold in its more rural locations.