(WASHINGTON) — Representatives from Walmart, one of the largest sellers of firearms in the U.S., will attend gun violence meetings with Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday after initially turning down the invitation, a spokesperson for the company confirmed on Wednesday.
Biden, cabinet members and senior staff are preparing to hold meetings this week with a number of groups focused on the problem of gun violence. On Thursday, he will meet with advocates for sportsmen and women and gun ownership groups, including the National Rifle Association.
“Knowing our senior leaders could not be in Washington this week, we spoke in advance with the Vice President’s office to share our perspective. We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate,” David Tovar, vice president of corporate communications for Walmart, said in a statement.
“We take this issue very seriously and are committed staying engaged in this discussion as the Administration and Congress work toward a consensus on the right path forward,” Tovar said.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Walmart would not send a representative due to a scheduling conflict.
Walmart sells guns in 1,650 of its more than 3,800 stores. The retailer pulled certain types of guns from its website after the shooting that killed 20 children in Newtown, Conn.
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