'I Wasn't Aware' How Hard It Is: Reporter Tries To Buy a Gun at Walmart, Fails Twice


The left has a narrative. That is to be expected, and there’s nothing wrong with having a narrative.

It is wrong, however, to base that narrative on misinformation and to push it with knee-jerk reactions to tragedies. That’s a problem.

During her investigation into the leftist narrative that it is far too easy to buy a gun in the United States, one reporter came to some revealing conclusions when she tried to purchase one at Walmart.

She failed. Twice.

Reporting for Business Insider, Hayley Peterson became interested in Walmart’s business practices surrounding its sale of firearms, which have come under scrutiny following a recent mass shooting at a Walmart location in El Paso, Texas.

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Peterson began her report by outlining the backlash to Walmart’s practices, noting a massive petition calling for the retailer to cease selling guns. Walmart has so far refused, choosing instead to take other measures that it believes could prevent gun violence.

Peterson felt the need to get to the bottom of the blossoming corporate controversy, so she decided to see for herself how easy it was to buy a gun at Walmart.

As she admitted after the fact, however, the quest “turned out to be far more complicated than I expected.”

First, Peterson had trouble locating a Walmart that actually sells firearms. Only about half of the company’s roughly 4,700 U.S. stores sell guns, and Peterson couldn’t find any advertising firearms at all on Google or

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She then spent over an hour and a half on the phone contacting multiple stores and the company’s main customer service line, all to no avail. Finally, an employee answered her call to confirm that her location does carry firearms. Peterson found her store.

Inside, she noticed how far from the entrance the sporting goods section was, and that the selection of guns was severely limited. Walmart, Peterson discovered, stopped selling handguns over twenty years ago and more recently stopped selling what she called “military-style” semi-automatic rifles.

That should be enough to get the leftist boycott artists off Walmart’s heels, but even the aforementioned petition acknowledged the fact. It’s not difficult to see the backlash was wildly misplaced, as Peterson would soon discover.

After noticing the myriad of warnings surrounding the merchandise, Peterson could not find any advertisements at all for the guns, which were locked in a glass case and strung together with a cable.

She finally located an employee to help her with the purchase, but soon found that her business would have to be delayed. There were no authorized sellers available that day, so Peterson was allowed to only inspect a rifle before leaving.

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One trip to Walmart in the books — and no gun to show for it.

Further research led Peterson to discover that Walmart’s sellers undergo an extensive background check and interview process, and absolutely must comply with all federal and state mandated qualifications to sell firearms.

Upon returning to Walmart after two days, Peterson was able to find an authorized seller, who called a second employee to help ensure that the purchasing process was executed correctly.

Then came the paperwork.

“She charged me $2 for a federal background check,” Peterson recounted, “then left the counter and returned a few minutes later with a form titled ‘Department of State Police Virginia Firearms Transaction Record.'”

Confident that she would pass the criminal background check, she continued, only to be stopped by the employee.

“I had only just finished printing my name when she stopped me and asked whether the address on my license matched my home address. I had moved since I obtained my license, and the addresses didn’t match.”

Uh-oh. In order to complete the process, her government-issued identification document had to include her current address.

Peterson reacted in her piece with a revealing statement: “I have never bought a gun, so I wasn’t aware of this.”

Well, laws are laws. Two trips to Walmart without a gun.

Peterson summed up her investigation with a refreshingly honest take.

“Overall, the experience left me with the impression that buying a gun at Walmart is more complicated than I expected, and that Walmart takes gun sales and security pretty seriously.”

Well, Hayley Peterson, now you know.

Almost all of the left’s narrative surrounding guns is built on bad information. Despite what leftists tell you, “assault rifles” are not more dangerous than other guns, nor are they commonly used to commit crimes. Similarly, there’s no such thing as a “gun show loophole,” and criminals frequently acquire their firearms illegally.

You can just add this report to the evidence countering the “it’s easy to buy a gun” talking point.

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Cade graduated Lyon College with a BA in Political Science in 2019, and has since acted as an assignment editor with The Western Journal. He is a Christian first, conservative second.
Cade graduated Lyon College with a BA in Political Science in 2019, and has since acted as an assignment editor with The Western Journal. He is a Christian first, conservative second.
BA Political Science, Lyon College (2019)