A year after the Virginia Tech massacre, the world’s No. 1 gun merchant has agreed to tighter controls over firearm sales. One-third of Wal-Mart stores will no longer sell guns, another third will have stricter rules, and the other third … well, baby steps. Needless to say, the National Rifle Association is outraged.


Wal-Mart, which sells more guns than any company in the world, agreed to co-operate with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bi-partisan group led by New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg. The group has been pushing for greater safeguards at retail outlets on the sale of firearms which fuel murder rates in America’s urban areas.

Under the agreement, Wal-Mart will tighten rules at about a third of its 3,200 stores across the country. A further third will stop trading guns altogether, though for reasons of declining sales.

The new restrictions include more extensive background checks on Wal-Mart staff selling guns; all gun sales will be filmed and the videotape kept for six months; and where guns are later used in crime, extra scrutiny will be given to the original purchaser should they try to buy another weapon.

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