Walmart stated it will reduce gun sales and some military-style rifles used in some hunting rifles, naming the status quo on guns in the US “unacceptable.” This decision came a month after a fatal shot at a Texas Walmart killed 22, a tragedy that has been followed by following attacks, including another shooting in West Texas that left seven dead.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter said Tuesday Walmart will reduce gun sales as well as short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used in military-style weapons, after it moves out of its modern inventory.
The retailer is further “respectfully requesting” that shoppers no longer simply take guns into their stores in states where “open carry” is allowed except if they are law enforcement officers.
The retailer made the decision after weeks of discussing the suitable answer to the violence that occurred in El Paso on August 3. The company stated, “We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer.”
Furthermore, it will reduce or even stop handgun sales in Alaska. Walmart ended selling handguns in the mid-1990s, with the exclusion of Alaska. The latest move marks its full exit from that business and lets it concentrate on hunting rifles and related ammo only.
Velshi, a frequent critic of the NRA and the “gun lobby,” stated Walmart does not require gun sales to maintain its advantages, implying the company made a smart business movement. But, he said, the retailer will take energy from Second Amendment advocates.
Velshi explained AR-15s as the guns “that have been used in pretty much every mass killing we’ve reported on in the last many years,” although the AR-15 is far from the only gun to be used in mass shots. Most mass shootings have not been carried out with an AR-15; Mother Jones‘s data tell semiautomatic handguns are more popular in mass shootings, and decades of data show handguns are used more in gun crime.
“We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we’re going to continue doing so,” according to a note by Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon to be circulated to agents Tuesday evening.
Texas became an open carry state in 2016, allowing people to openly carry firearms in public.
“We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results,” Doug McMillon continued. “We hope that everyone will understand the circumstances that led to this new policy and will respect the concerns of their fellow shoppers and our associates.”
Walmart’s movements will reduce gun sales and also the market of ammo from around 20% to a range of about 6% to 9%, according to Tuesday’s memo. About half of its more than 4,000 U.S. stores sell guns.
Doug McMillon called on Congress and the White House to perform “common sense” rules, including stricter background limits for gun buying.
“As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. We should not allow that to happen,” McMillon told in a report. “Congress and the administration should act.”
The nation’s largest retailer has been facing increasing pressure to change its gun policies by gun control activists, agents and politicians after the El Paso shooting and a second separate shooting in Dayton, Ohio that killed nine people. A few days before that, two Walmart workers were killed by another worker at a store in Southaven, Mississippi.
During the last 15 years, Walmart had grown beyond its hunting and fishing roots, carrying items like assault rifles in answer to rising demand. However, especially since 2015, often agreeing with major public mass shootings, the company has made progress to control the sale of ammo and guns.
Walmart stated in February 2018 that it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 and additionally removed items relating assault-style rifles from its website. Those moves were mentioned by the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
In 2015, Walmart ended selling semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 style rifle, the type used in the Dayton shooting. The retailer also doesn’t sell large-capacity magazines, handguns or bump stocks, nor the AK-style gun that was used by the El Paso shooter.
Now, after numerous shootings that killed innocent people and injured many, actions were finally taken to counter the violence and armed attacks. Perhaps this is a step to reduce the bitter news of death from armed attacks.