(UPDATED -- See below)
Walmart doesn't like to advertise that they sell semi-auto assault rifles -- lethal weapons designed for only one purpose: to kill large numbers of humans as quickly as possible.
They don't even want to advertise it to their stockholders. In fact, they have resisted calls to bring the issue to a vote at stockholder meetings.
Now a federal judge has ruled that they have to bring up the issue at their next stockholder meeting. This was brought up last April by a New York church which is also a major stockholder of the company.
Perhaps many stockholders are unaware that Walmart currently sells five different models of assault rifles?
Or that assault rifles have been stolen, sometimes in large numbers, from Walmart stores, or used in crimes at their stores? See HERE for plenty of examples. There was a report this week, in fact, of an AR-15 rifle stolen right out of the display case, which a man stuffed into his clothes and walked out of the store with, unhindered. HERE's a case from this year where nine assault rifles were stolen. HERE's another from this year where six were stolen.
Over 122,000 people have signed a petition urging Walmart to stop sales of assault rifles.
Walmart already bans a lot of different products it considers "harmful," including CDs, books, the morning after pill, and even a pregnant Barbie doll. So why then does it continue to sell weapons designed to kill people?
From an article:
U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday said the world's largest retailer wrongly excluded such a proposal from Trinity Church, a historic Wall Street church, from its June 6 annual meeting.
Stark also granted Trinity an injunction preventing Wal-Mart from excluding the proposal from proxy materials for its 2015 annual meeting, saying a vote would serve the public interest.
The proposal would require the governance committee of Wal-Mart's board to more closely examine the sale of products that might endanger public safety, hurt Wal-Mart's reputation, or offend "family and community values" integral to the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company's brand.
Trinity said these products might include guns with clips holding more than 10 rounds, a type it said "enabled" mass killings in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado; or music that depicts sex or violence. It said Wal-Mart already limits sales of such music.
The April 1 lawsuit was filed two weeks after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a "no action" letter signaling it would not punish Wal-Mart for excluding the proposal.
Stark said that while it was too late to do anything about the 2014 annual meeting, the SEC letter did not end the matter. He went on to reject Wal-Mart's argument that Trinity's proposal was too vague, potentially covering a broad swath of products.
"The proposal does not dictate any particular outcome or micro-manage Wal-Mart's day-to-day business," Stark wrote.
Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the retailer may appeal the decision.
UPDATE (12/9/14): Read a statement from the plaintiff, Trinity Church, HERE.
Walmart. Save money. Die faster.