Walmart to curtail ammunition sales

People bring flowers and pray Aug. 7 at a makeshift memorial outside the Walmart where 22 people were killed four days earlier, in El Paso, Texas. Celia Talbot Tobin/New York Times

Walmart will stop selling handguns and certain types of ammunition, and will no longer allow customers to openly carry firearms, after separate shootings at company stores last month left at least 24 people dead.

“It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable,” chief executive Doug McMillon said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. “We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand.”

The world’s largest retailer says it will stop selling ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles — including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber cartridges, which can be used in military-style weapons — once it sells through its current stock. Those changes are likely to lower the company’s market share of ammunition sales from about 20% to as little as 6%, the company said.

“The basic principle here is that if we don’t sell the gun, we are no longer going to sell the ammunition,” Dan Barlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs, said in a call with reporters Tuesday. He did not offer details on how the changes might impact the company’s financial performance.

Walmart, which sells guns in about half of its 4,750 U.S. stores, will continue selling long-barrel deer rifles and shotguns, as well as well as other firearms and ammunition for hunting and sports shooting, McMillon said. It will also continue to allow customers to carry concealed firearms at Walmart and Sam’s Club store, as long as they have proper permits.

The decision comes after mounting pressure from gun-control advocacy groups, politicians and Walmart’s own employees. About 40 white-collar Walmart worked in California walked out on the job last month to protest its gun policies.

Walmart, which is based in Bentonville, Ark., has tightened its gun policies over the years. It stopped selling handguns in 1993 (though it continued to do so in Alaska) and phased out assault-style rifles in 2015. Last year, it raised the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, two weeks after 17 students and teachers were killed in a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

The company’s latest measures come after a man with an assault rifle killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3, just days after a Walmart employee in Southaven, Miss., fatally shot two co-workers.

McMillon, who is a gun owner, said the company is also calling on the president and members of Congress to advance “common sense measures,” like more stringent background checks.

WPBloom

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(13) comments

Holmes

What's next, they going to stop selling auto parts? 40,000 Americans are killed every year by auto's.

Nice_Commenter

If you can't tell the difference between a gun and a car you are not smart enough to own a gun or a car.

rockloper

Walmart doesn't want to be on the wrong side of common sense anymore.

Nice_Commenter

The recent Wal-Mart massacre poked a huge hole in the idiot logic that went "Mass shootings only happen in gun-free zones". Imagine thinking that makes sense. Wal-Mart sells guns, you can open carry there, and in Texas a guy still massacred a bunch of people and then surrendered safely. Concealed carry just means grandchildren shoot themselves in the head with their grandma's gun.

Holmes

Apparently Walmart forgot about the armed heroes that stopped massacres in their stores. Sad.

Gracie02

Right...so we risk our lives on the "chance" some patron happens to be in the store shopping and carrying a pistol...and will protect everyone against a man with an assault rifle... Good policy decision...Walmart isn't beholden to the NRA or elections... Great decision and also hire an armed security guard.. What's actually sad is we won't see these tragedies end until assault rifles are banned, and everyone gets a background check.. tick tock until the next one..

Gracie02

Holmes...maybe this hero could help.. :-)... "Customer pulls gun on Popeyes employees over sold-out sandwiches"..... God help us...

rdsouth

You mean this? https://www.cbsnews.com/news/armed-civilian-who-took-down-walmart-shooter-is-pastor-medic/ So somebody prevented a guy who shot up a display and walked out from stealing his car in the parking lot?

Nice_Commenter

This one story is worth having gun massacres all the time? You are literally writing about a Wal-Mart turning into a gun battle as if you are making a point other than guns in our society are out of control.

Holmes

The left is out of control in "our society"...

Gracie02

Nailed it...this isn't going to stop until assault weapons are banned, and background checks on all gun sales occur... 83 percent of gun owners support expanded background checks on sales of all firearms, including 72 percent of all NRA members support per recent poll... but the right and NRA will still scream the left just wants to take away your guns...but don't off any solution for the mass killings... tick tock...tick tock..

Nice_Commenter

Sure, we have gun massacres all the time thanks to Republicans and the NRA, but "The left" (as defined by the Dennis Hastert Party) are out of control.

Nice_Commenter

Share some stories! Please! For each time somebody was stopped in a Wal-Mart I will share two cases where they weren't.

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