A representative from Wal-Mart will attend a meeting at the White House on gun control Thursday after initially turning down the invitation.
Vice President Biden's task force on gun violence is holding discussions with gun rights groups, video game executives, business leaders, mental health advocates and other stakeholders in the debate this week. The National Rifle Association is among the organizations attending.
Spokesman David Tovar said that senior Wal-Mart officials could not make it to Washington this week and spoke with Biden's office in advance instead.
"We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person,
so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate," Tovar said. "We take this issue very seriously and are committed staying engaged in this discussion."
In the wake of the Sandy Hook, Conn. shootings, Wal-Mart took a listing for the a listing for the gun apparently used, a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, off its website. But the company continues to sell the guns in stores. (Wal-Mart does not sell guns online.) In 2008 the company entered an agreement with the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns to videotape gun purchases and maintain a log of crimes linked to the company's guns, among other measures.