USA: Petition calls on Walmart to stop selling firearms marketed to children due to risk of death & injuries

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Article
29 April 2014

Armed to the milk teeth: America's gun-toting kids

Author: Sean O'Hagan, Guardian (UK)

[L]ast year, a two-year-old girl was shot dead by her five-year-old brother with a small rifle made specifically for children. The accidental shooting happened in Cumberland County, Kentucky, when the boy was playing with a gun purchased from...Keystone Sporting Arms, which, in 2008, produced around 80,000 rifles for children. The guns, which sell under the model names Cricket and Chipmunk, were originally advertised on a "Kid's Corner" on the company's website (it has since been removed), which showed children firing them at rifle ranges and on hunting trips. The guns are produced in bright blue, pink and rainbow colours and marketed like toys, under the tag line "My First Rifle"...[P]hotographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn...series, My Little Rifle, consists of only 15 portraits, but they provide a powerful and disturbing glimpse of a much bigger gun culture..."They do feel like toys," she says, "and the bullets are really small – but they can kill another child."

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Company response
12 February 2014

Response by Walmart: Wal-Mart response to report critical of company's decision to market firearms to children.

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Article
12 February 2014

[DOC] Walmart response

Author: Walmart

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Walmart to respond to a petition raising concerns about selling firearms marketed to children.] Over the years, we have been very purposeful about striking the right balance between serving our customers that are hunters and sportsmen and ensuring that we sell firearms in the most responsible manner possible. For example, we don't sell handguns in the continental U.S.; we don't sell high capacity magazines as an accessory; we currently limit sales of MSRs to less than one-third of our stores, primarily where there are large concentrations of hunters and sportsmen; and we don't sell firearms online. Not every retailer has made these choices. In fact, in 2008 we became a charter member of Mayor Bloomberg's coalition against illegal guns and adopted the 10-point code established by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership that goes beyond what the law requires, including [v]ideotaping all firearms transactions...[n]o sales without background check results...[s]ecuring firearms...

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Article
1 February 2014

Tell Walmart: Stop Selling Guns for Young Children [USA]

Author: Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Walmart to respond. Response provided.] Walmart, the American multinational retail giant, currently sells Crickett Firearms, a line of rifles that are marketed to very young children under the tagline “My First Rifle.” These weapons often look like toys, coming in colors like pink and orange. A new study shows that 20 children and teens are hospitalized every day for gun injuries in the United States....U.S. children and teens are 17 times more likely to die from a gun than their peers in 25 other high-income countries combined...The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made it clear that “the safest home for children is one without a gun.”...As the second largest public corporation in the world, Walmart says “we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far on our journey to become a more…responsible business.” But responsible businesses do not market weapons to young children, particularly in a country where children suffer such a high rate of gun death.

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