An appeals court ruled Tuesday that Wal-Mart investors don’t have a right to try to stop the company from selling rifles or any other product those shareholders may think is socially destructive.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the Arkansas-based retailer, reversing a district court ruling in November that would have let the company’s investors influence the store’s policy on high-capacity sporting-rifle sales.
“The Third Circuit reached the right decision in reversing the district court’s ruling,” Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove told the Times. “We appreciate the court’s quick consideration of the issues.”
The court’s decision came exactly one week after a panel of three judges heard oral arguments in the case between the nation’s largest retailer and Trinity Wall Street church, which hold 3,500 shares in the company.
Trinity won the case in district court, arguing that investors should be able to vote on a resolution that would force Wal-Mart’s board of directors to reconsider its policy on gun sales, as well as other items that might offend the community.
Wal-Mart appealed, arguing that the decision would allow shareholders to meddle in ordinary business operations.
The court has not yet released its full opinion on the decision but announced that it had ruled against Trinity, according to The Legal Intelligencer.