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Walmart to pay California $500,000 for selling brass knuckles

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Walmart will pay half a million dollars to settle California Department of Justice allegations that it was selling brass knuckles on its website, state Attorney General Rob Bonta said Tuesday.

Brass knuckles are classified as deadly and illegal weapons in a number of states, including California, which punishes their sale with up to a year in prison.

The investigation into the retail giant began in 2018, when the Merced County District Attorney found that Walmart was selling and allowing third-party sellers to sell brass knuckles on its website, officials said during a briefing. a press conference. The Department of Justice conducted the investigation and negotiations for years in partnership with the district attorney’s offices in Merced, Ventura and Yolo counties.

Brass knuckles, usually made of metal or hard plastic, could be used to break bones, cut people or even cause fatal injuries, Bonta said, calling the settlement a “huge win” for California consumers.

“We are making it clear that we will not sit idly by while any business, regardless of size … allows Californians to be armed with illegal weapons,” Bonta said. “This is a critical setback for an e-commerce giant that is expected to have a significant impact on the industry.”

Walmart said in a statement that it did not violate any California laws and admitted “no liability for wrongdoing,” but entered into the agreement because “we believe this agreement is in the best interests of all parts”.

As part of the settlement, Walmart will pay the Department of Justice and the district attorneys’ offices $125,000 each in civil penalties. The nation’s largest retailer will also have to stop selling and allow all sales of brass knuckles on its website.

Investigators found about 250 products that could be classified as brass knuckles on Walmart’s website, 60% of which were offered directly by the retailer and 40% were available from third-party sellers, authorities said.

The settlement also requires Walmart to inform customers who have purchased brass knuckles that the weapon is illegal.

Authorities said they were investigating others for illegal arms sales, but did not name the suspected perpetrators.

“While Walmart has been particularly cooperative in this matter and has done its best to remove illegal guns from their websites, there are others who have not, and they should know that we come to them. look for,” the Ventura County Assistant District Attorney said. Karen Wold said on Tuesday.

Walmart is a major arms seller in the United States, but has taken steps to limit the sale of firearms and ammunition since 2015.

The giant retailer stopped selling semi-automatic rifle and handgun ammunition after 23 people were killed at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas in 2019. The company stopped selling semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 style rifle in 2015. and raised the minimum age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21 in 2018.


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