Walmart, the American multinational retail giant, currently sells1 Crickett Firearms, a line of rifles that are marketed to very young children under the tagline “My First Rifle.”2 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.3 Nearly 2,700 children and teens died from gun-related injuries in 2010. 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.4
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made it clear that “the safest home for children is one without a gun.”5 According to a past president of the AAP, “Firearm injuries are often fatal—there are few second chances. Young children are curious, and are often unable to remember or follow safety rules. Older children and teens naturally tend to be moody and impulsive. When you combine these traits with access to guns, the consequences can be tragic and permanent.”6
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.”7 But responsible businesses do not market weapons to young children, particularly in a country where children suffer such a high rate of gun death.
Tell Walmart: Stop selling Crickett Firearms at your stores immediately.