Walmart to stop selling guns in New Mexico

Walmart to stop selling guns in New Mexico

Walmart will stop selling firearms in its New Mexico stores beginning July 22, a spokeswoman for the retail giant confirmed.

Tiffany Wilson told The Hill in an email that Walmart made the decision because is not equipped to conduct background checks for private-party firearm transfers required under a new state law.

"The new law would require our associates to handle and potentially store handguns and modern sporting rifles, which are types of firearms that Walmart does not sell and associates are not trained to handle or render safe," Wilson said.

The law, which went into effect Monday, requires background checks on almost all firearm sales in the state.

ADVERTISEMENT

It requires  stores with federal firearm licenses to conduct background checks before sales. Online gun sales between two individuals require a background check through a federal firearms license holder. 

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico releases plan to provide free college to all state residents: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Democratic governors call on Trump, McConnell to support gun control measures MORE (D) signed the legislation in March.

KOAT in Albuquerque first reported the development.

“Unlike a specialty sporting goods retailer where customers expect to see firearms of various types being handled, Walmart customers do not generally expect to see individuals walking through the store potentially carrying multiple firearms, which can lead to confusion and potentially putting both our customers and associates at risk,” Wilson told the ABC affiliate.

The U.S. House last month approved legislation that would require all gun sellers to conduct background checks on gun buyers.  

--This report was updated at 1:35 p.m.