||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2008
WAL-MART AND MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS ANNOUNCE "RESPONSIBLE
FIREARMS RETAILER PARTNERSHIP": A 10-POINT VOLUNTARY CODE
The Voluntary Code - A Set of Retail Best Practices - Goes
Beyond What is Required by Law
Wal-Mart and the bi-partisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns today
announced that Wal-Mart, the largest seller of firearms in the nation, has adopted
the new Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, a 10-point code that will
help ensure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands. The Responsible Firearms
Retailer Partnership, created by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Wal-Mart, is
a set of policies that will be implemented over time that includes video recording
of sales, rigid controls on inventory, checks that gun purchasers are not misrepresenting
themselves and the development of a first-of-its kind computerized crime gun
trace log for retailers. The new crime gun trace log will flag purchases by
customers who have previously bought guns later recovered in crimes. Mayors
Against Illegal Guns and Wal-Mart developed the code to curb some of the most
common ways guns end up in the hands of criminals. Wal-Mart will implement the
10-point code at its stores where firearms are sold. The announcement was made
at the Mayors Against Illegal Guns National Summit, where representatives from
60 cities gathered to discuss ways to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,
held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington,
"We know the ways that guns can end up being used in crimes. Now a responsible
and innovative company has stood up with our over-300 member coalition of mayors
to strengthen their sales practices to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,"
said New York City Mayor and coalition co-chair Michael R. Bloomberg. "I've
always believed in leading by example, and Wal-Mart has again demonstrated why
it's a great American company. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership
makes good sense - it will have no impact on a well-intentioned and law-abiding
gun buyer - but will help keep Americans safer."
"Wal-Mart currently uses a strong point of sale system that allows us
to serve the many hunters and outdoorsmen who've made us their retailer of choice,
while also ensuring the responsible sale of firearms," said JP Suarez,
senior vice president and chief compliance officer, Wal-Mart. "This code
is a way for us to fine tune the things we're already doing and further strengthen
our standards. We hope other retailers will join us in adopting the code."
"Partnerships like this one emphasize our mission to keep illegal guns
off our streets, and reinforces that we are not cracking down on legal gun owners
and the Second Amendment," said Boston Mayor and coalition co-chair Thomas
M. Menino. "This is about public safety and I want to thank Wal-Mart for
taking responsibility and being a leader in this area. This code of contact
will have no impact on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help mayors
and our law enforcement stop the proliferation of illegal guns."
The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership is designed to strengthen the
points in the gun purchasing system that criminals have exploited in the past.
According to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF),
46% of its criminal gun trafficking investigations involved straw purchasers,
where someone who is not legally allowed to purchase a firearm does so through
the use of a proxy, known as a straw buyer. Examples of the provisions in the
Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership intended to deter and stop illegal
purchasers are videotaped sales, increased monitoring of fake IDs, the crime
gun trace log, and increased training for employees to spot illegal purchases.
Additionally, the inventory controls and increased physical security for firearms
in the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership are intended to stem lost and
stolen guns, which ATF reports often make their way into the illegal market.
The 10 points of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership are:
- Videotaping the Point of Sale for All Firearms Transactions. Participating
retailers will videotape the point-of-sale of all firearms transactions and
maintain videos for 6 months to deter illegal purchases and monitor employees.
- Computerized Crime Gun Trace Log and Alert System. Mayors Against
Illegal Guns will develop a computerized system that participating retailers
will implement over time to log crime gun traces relating to the retailer.
Once the program is in place, if a customer who has a prior trace at that
retailer attempts to purchase a firearm, the sale will be electronically flagged.
The retailer would have discretion to proceed with the sale or stop the sale.
- Purchaser Declaration. For sales flagged by the trace alert system,
participating retailers will ask purchasers to fill out a declaration indicating
that they meet the legal requirement to purchase the firearm.
- Deterring Fake IDs. Participating retailers will only accept valid
federal- or state-issued picture IDs as primary identification. Retailers
will utilize additional ID checking mechanisms.
- Consistent Visible Signage. Participating
retailers will post signage created by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership
to alert customers of their legal responsibilities at the point-of-sale.
- Employee Background Checks. Participating retailers will conduct
criminal background checks for all employees selling or handling firearms.
- Employee Responsibility Training. Participating retailers will participate
in an employee responsibility training program focused on deterring illegal
purchasers. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership will create an online
training system based on Wal-Mart's training program.
- Inventory Checking. Participating retailers will conduct daily and
quarterly audits. Guidelines will be based on Wal-Mart's existing audit procedures.
- No Sales Without Background Check Results. Participating retailers
would prohibit sales based on "default proceeds," which are permitted by law
when the background check has not returned a result within 3 days.
- Securing Firearms. Participating retailers will maintain firearms
kept in customer accessible areas in locked cases or locked to racks.
Participating retailers will phase in the provisions of Responsible Firearms
Retailer Partnership over time.
A new national poll conducted jointly by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
and The Tarrance Group and released last week found that Americans overwhelmingly
support measures like those included in the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership.
For example, 91 percent of Americans favor requiring gun stores to do background
checks on employees. According to the poll, 93 percent of gun owners said being
video taped in a store while purchasing firearms would make no difference to
them or would make them more likely to purchase a firearm from that retailer.
For more information about Mayors Against Illegal Guns, visit: www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org.
For more information about Wal-Mart, visit: www.walmartstores.com
Mayor Bloomberg's Press Office
||Mayor Menino's Press Office
||Wal-Mart Media Relations