Action Line: Walmart takes safety precautions for fishing spears

Viewer Albert Leong took this photo of fishing spears in the Pearl City Walmart. The spears have since been covered with safety caps.

A popular retail store has made some safety improvements after a shopper called KHON2’s Action Line over fears someone was going to get hurt or even killed.

Albert Leong says he was horrified to see a young boy, around 10 years old, pick up a fishing spear in the Pearl City Walmart and shoot it at a cardboard box. The spear narrowly missed his younger sister.

“The sister was like two feet away,” Leong said. “He could have killed her or injured her.”

The pole spears are within easy access in the sports department. Leong says he notified store managers numerous times, but for months, nothing was done to keep the spears out of the reach of children.

Leong says he asked about putting the spears behind a counter or in a case that can be locked, and spoke with the store’s safety manager. Leong says the manager told him the only way the store would lock up the spears is if a state law required it.

“I thought this was outrageous,” Leong said. “‘You’re blowing me off.'”

That’s when he turned to Action Line.

We got in touch with Walmart on Monday. Since then, the company said it is making sure that safety caps are placed on all of the pointed tips.

A Walmart spokesperson said, “We are working with our stores to regularly check these products to help confirm that safety caps are in place. We appreciate this customer bringing this to our attention.”

Maui Sporting Goods Spearfishing Supplies, which has been around for 22 years, demonstrates just how easy it is to operate a pole spear, especially for a kid.

“They just pull it really quickly and you can just let it go,” said manager Kurt Taguma. “This would fly a good 30 to 40 feet.”

Taguma says the spears and spear guns are always within sight of the workers. “I won’t let (anyone) come in and start poking around and load this in the store,” he said. “Same with the guns.”

Leong says he would still prefer that Walmart put the spears out of reach from children, but at least the store has taken a step towards safety.

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