In a lawsuit filed by New York City’s Trinity Church and intended to stop Wal-Mart from selling so-called “high-capacity guns,” a federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Wal-Mart, reversing an earlier federal court decision and effectively upholding decisions by Wal-Mart’s management regarding firearms sales at their stores.
Trinity Church, which owns $2,000 in Wal-Mart stock, sought to allow shareholders to block sales of firearms at the retail giant through a simple majority vote. Wal-Mart argued that such decisions were the proper purview of the board of directors, not all shareholders—a view the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appeared to validate. Last November, U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark—an Obama appointee—ruled in favor of Trinity Church and its scheme to block firearm sales. But this latest decision, reversing Stark’s ruling, restores Wal-Mart’s corporate control over the issue and appears to protect Wal-Mart firearms sales—at least for the time being.