Walmart announced on Tuesday (Sept. 3) that it will discontinue sales of its handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be paired with military-style weapons.
The decision arrives after two of the American multinational retail locations experienced two horrifying shootings during the 2019 summer. Two Walmart employees were killed by a fellow employee in far northwest Mississippi on Tuesday (July 30). Another Walmart shooting happened four days later on Saturday (Aug. 3) in El Paso, Texas that killed 20 people.
CNBC reports that Walmart and Sam’s Club will discontinue .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber ammunition, in addition to completely removing handgun sales in Alaska. The retailer is also asking that shoppers no longer openly carry their firearms in stores where “open carry” is permitted unless they’ve been authorized by law enforcement officers. This will affect more than 26 states who have open carry legislation. Customers with concealed handgun permits will not be affected.
“We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results,” CEO Doug McMillon said in an employee distributed memo. “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.”
In the heat of transition, the National Rifle Association of America took to its Twitter account to express its disappointment in Walmart’s decision.
“It is shameful to see @Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms.”