Walmart No Longer to Sell Firearms in NM

Walmart has decided to stop selling firearms at its 16 New Mexico locations due to a new universal background check law which went into effect last Monday, July 1, 2019.

Senate Bill (SB) 8, makes it unlawful to sell any firearm without having first performed a background check. Doing so could result in a misdemeanor charge for every firearm that is sold during the transaction.

Sales between family members, and sales of antique firearms are excepted from SB 8, and any firearms sellers with a Federal Firearms License are allowed to charge up to $35 per federal background check.

According to Tiffany Wilson, a Walmart spokesperson, the big box store chain decided to pull all firearms from its stores in New Mexico because the company and its staff are not prepared to handle the potential influx of customers attempting to conduct firearm background checks at their NM locations.

“… (Walmart is) not currently designed to conduct background checks for private-party firearms transfers under New Mexico’s new law,” Wilson said in an email about the company decision.

She went on to say that Walmart employees are not prepared, “… to handle and potentially store handguns and modern sporting rifles, which are types of firearms that Walmart does not sell and associates are not trained to handle or render safe.”

Additionally, since Walmart is a general merchandise store and not a business dedicated to the sale of firearms, company decision makers decided to forego the sale of all firearms at their NM stores for safety concerns.

“Unlike a specialty sporting goods retailer, where customers expect to see firearms of various types being handled,” Wilson told KOAT-TV. “Walmart customers do not generally expect to see individuals walking through the store potentially carrying multiple firearms, which can lead to confusion and potentially putting both our customers and associates at risk.”

Gov. Grisham’s press secretary, Nora Meyers Sackett, said Walmart’s decision to remove firearms from its shelves appears to be the right decision:

“Background checks are shown to be both lifesaving and overwhelmingly popular. The governor stands behind the reasonable expectation of any business facilitating the sale of firearms to be able to create or maintain an environment where quick, noninvasive background checks can be completed in a safe manner. If those who sell firearms are not able to do so, discontinuing such sales would seem to be the right move.”

Opponents of the bill, including state law enforcement officials with the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association which vigorously opposed SB 8, say the bill targets only those law-abiding citizens who are already inclined to follow the law, and does nothing to stop actual criminals.

Walmart will no longer sell firearms at its New Mexico locations beginning July 22, 2019, but will continue to sell ammunition.

What do you think of SB 8? Leave a comment below to let us know.


  1. George L. Bickmore on July 10, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    This situation is like a rock and a hard spot. If Wal-Mart is not prepared to fully support the Back Ground check protocol then they should not sell fire arms. If they don’t have them then no on should be able to acquire a firearm from them. Othe vendors will fill in the gap and do the legal procedures required by law. That is as it should be.

    As long as there is no total ban why fight it as it is Wal-Mart’s right to make a business decision and they are willing to suffer the loss of revenue.

    Go after the sources of the illegal firearms and shut them down.

  2. Patrick on July 10, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    My brother lives in New Mexico and has guns that he keeps in a safe. But he is not willing to pay for a background check every time he buys a used firearm from someone or trades one for another. Guns are not the problem. It’s the people who shouldn’t have guns that cause problems. Background checks are OK, but not everyone does the checks especially criminals. WalMart made a business decision and that’s their choice. But that law may be followed by more, like in California. It’s happening in Nevada now, as well.

  3. Frank Verplancken on July 12, 2019 at 6:24 am

    I live in New Mexico. I firmly believe that this current administration is passing state laws which are directly against federal law. The second amendment guarantees all law abiding citizens the right to bear arms. I am SURE that criminals could care less what a federal law says much less a state law. I always say, “EVIL IS EVIL”. The problem is not guns but people who break the law. If several attacks occur with automobiles used a weapon, are we going to try and ban vehicles. It’s the person behind the “weapon” that is killing other people not the “weapon” whether it be a knife, machete, car or a gun. The problem may be mental, emotional or psychological OR as I noted before…..EVIL IS EVIL!!

  4. Kelly on July 26, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    The laws that NM is passing are nothing but playing into the hands of all of the anti-second amendment organizations. I guarantee you that big money from out of state poured into this last election in NM because they knew that all they had to do was get a rabid liberal elected Governor and they could do what ever they wanted, because both houses of congress are democratically controlled and overtly liberal because of the Albuq/Santa Fe stranglehold on NM politics.

    If Walmart makes this decision, so be it. They can choose to sell whatever they want in their stores. That is the American way. But I do not have to patronize that store.

    However, I also think that ammunition suppliers and manufacturers should stop selling ammo to stores that do not sell a broad array of guns. None of this only stocking BB guns and selling 223 and handgun ammo.
    So, the yellow belly Dicks Sporting Goods, Walmart, Field and Stream, and many others should not be sold Ammo, because they choose not to sell guns.

    It should be a business decision of the Ammo Suppliers to refuse to do business with the businesses that do not support the gun owner community in general.

    After all, the real profits are made in ammunition sales and not in gun sales. It’s like giving the razor away, knowing that you have to buy the blades.

    The mantra ought to be “No Guns-No Ammo. Sell it All, or Sell Nothing”.
    this would open the door to other retailers making more money because they do support the rights of Americans to own guns, to buy guns, hunt and enjoy them responsibly.
    No Guns-No Ammo. Sell it All or Sell Nothing.

  5. Donald H. White on February 13, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    NM is run by liberals and always has been, so what do you expect?

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