I tried to buy a gun at a Las Vegas department store


Most locals I’ve met here own one – if not several – weapons. The reason? Self defense, mostly.

I was chatting with my Uber driver yesterday after my SBS World News live cross. He said Vegas never sleeps, boasting he could easily go and buy a gun then and there. It was 2am. I assumed he was joking – but he wasn’t.

So he took me on a tour of the multiple gun stores and pawn Shops not far from the famous Vegas Strip. Our mission – to see if I could buy a gun over the counter.

American gun legislation is done on a state by state basis. Nevada’s laws are particularly relaxed. Literally all you need to buy a new gun is a local ID card. 

Gun shops are scattered all over Vegas and across the United States. There are around 130,000 federally licensed firearms dealers – almost as common as petrol stations in the States.

One of those firearm dealers is Walmart.

My Uber driver took me there too. The grocery superstore was still open at 3am and amongst the fresh fruit, halloween costumes and yoga mats – guns.  

The rifle display is in the far corner of the store – right next to the children’s toys.

Walk past the brightly coloured miniature cars, the mini roller blades and toy basketball hoops and you’ll hit the display of hanging rifles. Black rifles, Pink rifles, comoflague rifles and wooden rifles….dozens of options. 

I went back a few hours later with my camera crew to film buying one myself.

The Walmart store assistant told me she really didn’t know much about guns – the knowledgeable guy was on a day off she said.


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