BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Citing two recent shooting incidents at its stores, Walmart has announced plans to stop the sale of handgun ammunition.
Once the retailer meets its current inventory commitments, it will no longer carry short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber, or handgun ammunition, and it will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking a complete exit from handguns, according to a company memo to Walmart associates.
Walmart stated that it expects its market share of ammunition to drop from roughly 20 percent to between 6 percent and 9 percent.
Walmart cited multiple incidents since a mass shooting at its store in El Paso, Texas, where individuals attempted to make a statement and test the company’s response, in “respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”
In the memo, Walmart stated, “We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results. 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.”
Concealed carry will still be permitted in stores. The memo states, “As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach.”
In addition to policy changes at its stores, Walmart also called on lawmakers to effect change.
“Finally, we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I’m sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures. As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act. Given our decades of experience selling firearms, we are also offering to serve as a resource in the national debate on responsible gun sales.”Walmart CEO Doug McMillon