Walmart to stop selling handgun ammo
American retail giant Walmart is banning the sale of handgun ammunition in all of its stores and also stopping the sale of handguns in its Alaskan outlets.
“After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 calibre and 5.56 calibre that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in recent statement to employees.
The decision comes after two shootings at Walmart stores, killing 24 people.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers and we hope they will understand,” McMillon continued. “As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same.”
Previously McMillion said Walmart was responsible for two per cent of firearm sales in the USA and 20 per cent of ammunition sales. Walmart expects its share of ammunition sales to drop to between six per cent and nine per cent as a result of the changes. The company will continue to sell shotguns and rifles.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reacted to the news by saying, “The NSSF has always respected the right of companies in our industry to make business decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their business and customers. While we are disappointed by Walmart’s announcement that it has decided to stop selling certain types of ammunitions used in a wide variety of firearms, along with discontinuing the sale of handguns in its Alaska stores, NSSF appreciates Walmart’s continuing commitment to America’s hunters and recreational target shooters and their equipment needs, as sportsmen and women represent tens of millions of responsible gun owners in this country.
“The firearms industry, like Walmart, is committed to ensuring the safety of our communities and the peace of mind of all citizens while safeguarding our nation’s hunting and shooting sports heritage and Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. Our industry will continue to champion real solutions that will make our communities safer.”
McMillion also revealed that he sent letter to the White House, asking for stronger gun control measures.
“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,” McMillon said. “We do not sell military-style rifles and we believe the reauthorisation of the assault Wweapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness.”
McMillon also said that his company is “respectfully requesting” that shoppers stop openly carrying firearms into its stores due to incidents where store evacuations have happened due to shoppers carrying weapons.The policy change won’t affect shoppers carrying concealed firearms.
“There have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers,” McMillon said. “These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are 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 authorised law enforcement officers."
McMillon also mentioned that he is a gun owner himself and that Walmart remained committed to its “long heritage” of “serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women.”
“My family raised bird dogs when I was growing up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and I’m a gun owner myself,” he wrote. “We understand that heritage, our deeply rooted place in America and our influence as the world's largest retailer. And we understand the responsibility that comes with it.”