(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Wednesday it would send a representative to Washington to meet with Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday to share the company’s position on the responsible sale of firearms.
At first, Wal-Mart was not going to send anyone to Biden’s meeting, saying its senior leaders could not be in Washington this week and that it spoke in advance with Biden’s office to share its perspective, spokesman David Tovar said.
“We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate,” Tovar added.
After December’s Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, which President Barack Obama called the worst day of his presidency, he asked Biden to come up with a broad range of ideas to curb the nation’s gun violence. Others set to meet with Biden this week include the National Rifle Association.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer and largest U.S. gun seller, said that it works to strike the right balance between serving hunters and sportsmen and ensuring that it sells firearms responsibly.
“We have had ongoing conversations with the (Obama) administration, Congress, (New York) Mayor Bloomberg’s office, sportsmen groups, suppliers and others to listen and share our thoughts and experiences,” Tovar said.
Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Maureen Bavdek