Big-box retailer Walmart will pay half-million-dollars in civil penalties after allegations that it illegally sold brass knuckles to consumers in California through its website.
An investigation carried out by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) in partnership with the District Attorney’s Offices of Merced, Ventura, and Yolo Counties found nearly 250 products that could be classified as “brass knuckles” on the retailer’s website — 60% of which were sold directly through Walmart and 40% through third-party sellers.
Brass knuckles are metal guards placed over one’s knuckles and are considered dangerous weapons in most states — they’re illegal in 21 states (including California), allowed with a permit in 17. In the remaining 12 states, law either does not specify if brass knuckles are illegal or they are legal under certain conditions — for example, in South Carolina they are legal, but not permitted in schools or hospitals, and in Texas, they are legal to possess for self-defense purposes.
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“Illegal weapons have no place in California,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “The settlement we have reached with Walmart makes crystal clear that online retailers are responsible for what they are allowing to be offered for sale in our state.”
Walmart will pay $500,000 in the settlement as well as be prohibited from selling illegal weapons on its website, in its store, and through third parties.
Related: Walmart Pulls Crude T-Shirt From Its Stores. ‘This Was Not Intentional.’
“We are committed to being the most trusted retailer,” the company said in a statement to Entrepreneur. “While we believe our policies and procedures comply with California law and admit no liability or wrongdoing, we believe this agreement is in the best interest of all parties.”
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