Walmart steps into the national gun debate Tuesday after making a series of gun-related policy changes including the discontinuation of the sale of short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunition
Walmart, the multinational retail juggernaut and second largest employer in the United States behind only that of the federal government, stepped directly into the heat of the raging gun debate Tuesday by introducing a series of gun-related policy changes, including the discontinuation of the sale of short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunition in all stores nation-wide, discouraging its customers from openly carrying firearms in its stores, and calling for Congress to consider legislation, including but not limited to, an assault rifle ban and stricter background checks. According to Doug McMilon, the Chief Executive Officer of Walmart, the company’s nearly 5,000 Walmarts and Sam’s Club’s around the nation will “gear its focus toward long-barrel deer rifles and shotguns, supplying much of the ammunition they require and providing hunting and sporting accessories and apparel.” ~
The policy move by Walmart comes just days after a mass shooting left seven people dead in Odessa, Texas. A duo of major shootings also occurred last month, one in Dayton, Ohio which left 9 individuals fatally shot, and one in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were shot dead in a Walmart. According to The New York Times, these shootings put pressure on Walmart, a large seller of firearms and ammunition, to respond to the wave of mass shootings across the United States. The announcement by Walmart came after weeks of discussion and research among executives of the company, and it is believed that the decision for gun-policy change occurred due to the rise in pressure and calls by gun-control advocates and gun violence victims who have increasingly lobbied for gun-control. ~
According to Fox News, the company will be “selling through their current inventory commitments” before officially discontinuing their sale of short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunition in all stores nation-wide, which is expected to take several weeks. It is also believed that the policy changes will have a significant effect on the ammunition industry, with Walmart’s market share of ammunition projected to drop from 20% to a range of about 6-9% (Fox News, 2019). ~
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