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Wal-Mart investors to reconsider gun sales after NYC church challenge

Wal-Mart investors may now have a say in whether the retailer continues selling high-capacity guns, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark handed down the ruling in favor of New York City’s Trinity Wall Street church, allowing for their original proposal to be presented and voted on by shareholders in 2015.

“We believe that on critical issues such as the sale of products that may threaten the safety or well-being of communities, corporate boards must exercise their oversight role to assure balance among customer, shareholder, and societal interests,” the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper of Trinity Wall Street church said in an online statement Thursday.

Trinity Wall Street, a Wal-Mart investor known for its exceeding wealth, sued the world’s largest retailer after it turned down a proposal calling for its board to increase oversight on the sale of guns equipped to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and other potentially harmful items.

“The decision to sell guns equipped with high capacity magazines seems inconsistent to Trinity (and we presume like-minded shareholders), given other merchandising decisions that Wal-Mart has made to protect its reputation and the public,” Cooper wrote.

“Trinity’s proposal would interfere with Wal-Mart’s ordinary business operations by seeking to regulate Wal-Mart’s daily decisions on the hundreds of thousands of products sold,” Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove told Reuters.