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Walmart Not Planning To Change Air Rifle Displays After Fatal Beavercreek Shooting
Walmart Not Planning to Change Air Rifle Displays after Fatal Beavercreek Shooting
According to a report from WHIO News in Dayton, Walmart is not planning to change how they store and display realistic-looking air guns after the fatal Beavercreek Walmart police shooting of a man holding one of the guns on August 5, 2014. Company officials are working with law enforcement to reconstruct the incident with video footage from the Beavercreek Walmart to determine exactly what happened that led to the man’s death.
“There are no plans to change anything on how we sell products at this time, but we will constantly evaluate that,” Nick said. “The sale of these products is under different rules in states in different parts of the country, and we follow the rules as it pertains to sale of products and comply with state and federal regulation of these products.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine met with the family of Mr. Crawford, the man fatally shot by police, and the family’s attorney Michael Wright of Wright & Schulte LLC, an Ohio lawfirm, to view the video on August 19th. As a result of the initial investigation, a grand jury is planned to hear the evidence from both sides on September, 3rd to determine if criminal charges should be filed against the police officers involved in John Crawford’s death. “The good news is we have evidence and pictures. It just takes awhile to put it all together,” DeWine said during a Tuesday news conference. “We’re in the process of retaining a use-of-force expert to help determine if the tactics and procedures the officers deployed were appropriate under the circumstances.” The investigation team surrounding the Beavercreek Walmart shooting has reportedly gathered 11 pieces of physical evidence, 203 Walmart camera videos, and took the statements of over 50 witnesses in the search for truth.
Ohio does not have any regulations governing the display, sale, or use of pellet air rifles, nor are there any federal regulations regarding these guns. According to federal law, air guns do not count as a firearm, because no explosives are involved in the firing mechanism unless they use the frame of an actual firearm. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives states:
“Based on Section 921 (a) (3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law – unless they are manufactured with the frames or receivers of an actual firearm. Accordingly, the domestic sale and possession of air guns is normally unregulated under the Federal firearms laws enforced by ATF.”
Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission requires air rifles and other semi-realistic guns to have markings that identify the guns as non-lethal weapons (such as orange plugs on the end of the rifle barrel), police routinely identify these BB and pellet air rifles as actual weapons, according to a 2012 investigation by The New York Times. The New York Times report stated, “In recent years, dozens of police officers in Texas, California, Maryland, Florida and elsewhere have shot children and adults armed with what they believed were handguns but that were determined later to be BB guns or other types of air pistols.”
As of August 19, 2014, Crawford’s death is listed as a homicide, which means it was caused by the actions of another person. The family is also conducting their own investigation with the help of attorney Michael Wright of Wright & Schulte LLC to determine the reasons behind the cause of the man’s death. “If the police believe this was a justifiable shooting, then what the police are really saying is that shoppers at Wal-Mart who pick up a BB gun to purchase are subject to execution,” Wright said. “If Walmart doesn’t change the manner in which it displays its toy guns, then it will continue to be open season on shoppers. You buy a bb/pellet rifle, you may be shot. Plain and simple. Walmart has a responsibility to it’s customers to keep them safe.”
Other Beavercreek Walmart Police Shooting News
Dayton Daily News: Man police shot in Walmart killed over fake gun, family says
Associated Press: Officer in Wal-Mart Shooting Involved in 2010 Case
Christian Science Monitor: John Crawford Walmart shooting: Ohio officer back on the job?