On Tuesday, Walmart announced that it will scale back the retailer’s gun and ammo sales, prompting strong reactions on both sides of the gun control debate. The news comes exactly one month after the Aug. 3 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart, in which 22 people were killed. The retailer had also faced pressure to take action after a fatal shooting on July 30 at its Southaven, Miss. store, during which a former employee shot and killed two workers.
We’ve been working to understand the many important issues arising from the horrific events in El Paso and Southaven, as well as those raised in the national discussion around gun violence. Today, we’re sharing some next steps: https://t.co/chWzGf6Amv pic.twitter.com/Ye3xjjRdrh— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) September 3, 2019
Walmart stores will no longer sell handgun ammunition or the short-barrel rifle ammunition used for hunting rifles as well as military-style weapons. Handguns will no longer be sold in Alaska, the last state to have them on offer, but will continue to carry other firearms and hunting accessories. And while there are currently no restrictions on shoppers who conceal their firearms, the retailer is “respectfully” requesting that gun owners not open-carry in its stores, regardless of a state’s open-carry legislation.
Alyssa Milano, Parkland survivor David Hogg and presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Bernie Sanders were among those cheering the policy as a “step in the right direction.”
Walmart on Tuesday announced it will reduce its gun and ammunition sales, one month after more than 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 3, 2019
Walmart also pressured Congress to enact gun safety measures.
Thank you, @Walmart.
This is a step in the right direction—and I'm grateful Walmart has taken action—but we can't rely on corporations to stop gun violence. We need universal background checks, we need red flag laws, and we need to buy back every single assault weapon. https://t.co/m8fr3qzZcx— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 3, 2019
I applaud the brave Walmart workers who called on the company to stop selling guns. This is a good step, but we still have a gun violence crisis. Mitch McConnell must stop his cowardice, stand up to the NRA and allow Congress to pass common sense gun safety legislation. https://t.co/zC0mZqKdtq— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 3, 2019
But the announcement rankled conservatives and fervent Second Amendment supporters like Fox Nation personality Tomi Lahren. Lahren, who recently launched her own athleisure line designed to be worn with firearms, tweeted that Walmart “just shot itself in the foot.”
Similarly, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich claimed that the policy would make stores more dangerous, while former NRATV host Dana Loesch accused Walmart of virtue-signaling to appease gun control activists while continuing to carry other firearms and ammo.
Walmart to end handgun ammunition sales...that’s fine it’ll just drive customers to small business ammo retailers. @Walmart just shot itself in the foot. Their loss.— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) September 3, 2019
Curious if Walmart will now provide armed security at all of its stores now that the company has made clear it doesn't like individuals who do their duty to carry and do their best to protect themselves. (the answer is obviously no)— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 3, 2019
So the larger, more powerful caliber is still available. They'll virtue signal by eliminating sales of the smaller caliber (and most popular for women who own rifles chambered for this).— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 3, 2019
Good grief, Walmart. https://t.co/xtGNvowbSE
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