Walmart will stop gun sales in New Mexico over background check laws: report

Walmart will reportedly stop selling guns at its New Mexico stores later this month.

The retailer’s decision came after the state passed a new law expanding background checks, which was put into effect on July 1, CBS News reported.

The new legislation would make it so that people could register guns at Walmart that they had bought somewhere else. That would include handguns or assault rifles, which Walmart does not sell -- with the exception of selling handguns in Alaska, according to the outlet.

The company stopped selling AR-15 rifles and other semi-automatic weapons back in 2015 due to sluggish demand.

A Walmart spokesperson told CBS the company made its decision because store associates have not been trained to handle assault rifles or handguns and customers might be upset by seeing the guns unexpectedly.

"New Mexico's new firearms law would require Walmart stores in New Mexico to conduct background checks for private-party transfers, which our stores are not designed to do due to the safety risks to our associates and our customers," Tiffany Wilson, director of communications at Walmart, told CBS News in a statement. "The company has decided to surrender its federal firearms licenses and will no longer sell firearms in our New Mexico stores."

According to the outlet, Walmart will stop selling guns in New Mexico on July 22 but will continue to sell ammunition. Any firearms left after July 22 will be transferred or sold to locations in other states.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 59.52 +0.28 +0.46%
DKS DICK'S SPORTING GOODS INC. 195.08 -0.14 -0.07%

Similarly, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in March its plans to stop selling guns and other hunting products from its 125 stores this year.

The Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based chain removed the category from 10 stores in 2018, locations which then “had a strong margin rate improvement,” CEO Ed Stack told investors in March.

The in-store sections will be replaced with “merchandise categories that can drive growth," he said.


Following a school shooting in Florida in February 2018 that left 17 students and staff dead, Dick’s hiked the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 and prohibited the sale of AR-15 style rifles.

While Stack previously predicted it would bring in new customers, the decision led to a decline in earnings in the firm’s hunting business.

FOX Business’ Joe Williams and The Associated Press contributed to this report.