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Walmart to pay $500,000 over illegal brass knuckle sales in California

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Walmart will pay $500,000 after the California Department of Justice’s allegations over the sale of brass knuckles on its website.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the settlement on Tuesday, May 23.

Brass knuckles are classified as illegal and dangerous weapons in several states, including California, where their sale is punishable by up to one year in prison.

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The probe into Walmart began in 2018 when the Merced County district attorney discovered the firm was selling online brass knuckles and allowed third-party vendors to do the same. 

The Department of Justice, in collaboration with the district attorney's offices of Merced, Ventura, and Yolo Counties, conducted a lengthy investigation and negotiation process.


Brass knuckles, typically made of metal or hard plastic, can cause serious harm, including broken bones, cuts, and even fatal injuries. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta lauded the settlement as “a tremendous win” for consumers in California.

He said: “We’re making it clear that we won’t sit idly by while a company, no matter how large ... allows Californians to be armed with illegal weapons.

“This is a critical push back on an e-commerce giant that stands to have an important impact on the industry.”

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Walmart has maintained it did not violate any California laws and admitted no liability or wrongdoing.

However, the big box retailer settled the case because it believed the agreement was in all parties best interests.

Under the settlement terms, Walmart will pay $125,000 each in civil penalties to the Department of Justice and the district attorneys' offices.

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Additionally, the retail giant will be required to cease all sales of brass knuckles on its website, both directly and through third-party sellers.

During the investigation, authorities found approximately 250 products that could be classified as brass knuckles on Walmart's website.

Of that, 60 percent were offered directly by the retailer, and the remaining 40 percent were available through third-party sellers.

As part of the settlement, Walmart must also notify customers who have purchased brass knuckles that possessing such weapons is illegal.

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