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Wal-Mart to videotape firearms purchases
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15:23, April 15, 2008

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Wal-Mart, America's largest public seller of firearms, announced Monday it will videotape gun purchases and create an internal log of which guns they sell were used later to commit crimes.

J.P. Suarez, the chief compliance officer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., appeared with outspoken gun control advocate Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York to announce the changes, and others, at a gathering of Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Changes to come at about 1,100 Wal-Mart stores selling guns include creating a record and alert system to record when a gun sold at Wal-Mart is later used in a crime. If the purchaser of that gun later tries to buy another gun at Wal-Mart, the system would alert the sales clerk of the prior buy and could refuse to make the sale.

Also, retain recorded images of gun sales in case law enforcement wants to view them later as part of an investigation. And expanding background checks of employees who handle guns and expanding inventory controls. Suarez said the tougher standards will come with some additional cost to the company.

"The costs are, we think, part of what it takes to be responsible. Everything is not pain-free," he said, adding that small sellers can implement many of the same rules. He did not say how long it would take to implement all the changes, but noted that software must still be created for an internal log of guns later used in crimes.

Suarez said his company may receive some pressure from gun rights groups, but added, "This is not a signal that we're getting out of firearms."

The National Rifle Association denounced the company’s move.

"I view it as a public relations stunt that stigmatizes law-abiding firearms purchasers exercising their freedom under the Constitution," said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. He said that if politicians were serious about reducing gun crime they would worry less about legal sellers and buyers and get tougher criminal sentences for illegal gun dealers.

Source:Xinhua



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