In the Walmart Supercenter at the West Bluffs mall in May 2002, shoppers are waiting for the doors to open. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal)  New Mexico customers who want to buy hunting weapons at Walmart have to look around after July 22nd.
Earlier this month, Walmart announced that they would voluntarily give up their federal firearms license and sell out firearms in our new store Mexico. Walmart communication director Tiffany Wilson said in an email that although Walmart stores in New Mexico do not sell pistols and modern sports rifles, a new New Mexico law might allow them to perform background checks on weapons to have people acquire elsewhere.
"As a general merchandise retailer and grocer, Walmart is currently not designed to conduct background checks on private transfers under New Mexico law," Wilson wrote.
In March, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 8, which provides a background check of most New Mexico purchases of weapons. The law states that a nationwide licensed firearms salesperson may not unduly refuse to perform a background check on a potential salesperson without a valid license.
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As As a state-licensed vendor, this could enable Walmart to force employees to perform background checks on private firearms transfers, Wilson wrote. She added that this could enable staff to deal with unknown weapons. In addition, she noted that customers could be alarmed when carrying people with multiple firearms through the shop.
"Unlike a sports shop where customers expect firearms of different types to be handled, Walmart customers generally do not expect people to go through the store, which may contain multiple firearms," Wilson wrote.
According to Wilson, Walmart stores in New Mexico currently stock a limited number of shotguns and guns, which will become unavailable after the entry into force of the Directive on July 22. The stores will continue to sell ammunition as well as BB weapons, airsoft weapons and similar products.