business news in context, analysis with attitude

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer says he is considering whether to bring criminal charges against Wal-Mart for violating state gun laws.

While Wal-Mart has agreed to stop selling rifles and shotguns in its 118 California stores, Lockyer said he was still considering the legal alternatives, and described Wal-Mart’s lapses as “systemic.”

"It is very serious when you sell weapons to felons," Lockyer told Reuters. "It is not good, especially for a company that prides itself on friendly, legal and clean operations."

The California Attorney General’s office had charged that there were almost 500 separate violations of state firearms laws in six California Wal-Marts. In two cases, a store sold guns to felons -- even though the chain had decided to require gun-buying customers to undergo a background check, no matter how long the check takes

Wal-Mart spokesman Tom Williams has said that the company shortly will begin new employee training in state firearms law, and noted that this is the first time that the company has suspended gun sales under such circumstances.

Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest seller of firearms.
KC's View: