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Following Public Outcry, Walmart To Limit Certain Types of Ammunition Sales

Say Contributor

Slowly but surely, Walmart is starting to respond to the increasing public demand for it to do more to stop mass shootings. Under Pressure Walmart has been facing public pressure to do more to help stop the rash of gun violence in America, following the death of 22 people in a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart earlier this month, as well as a concurrent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Now, the retail giant has announced that it will start taking a few further steps by discontinue the sale of short-barrel rifle ammunition that can also be used in assault rifles, as soon as the current stock is sold through. Additionally, it will stop the sale of handguns in Alaska, the only state where the retailer still sells them. Step By Step Walmart CEO Doug McMillon initially expressed his grief and shock in response to the mass shootings in a LinkedIn post. Though he responded to the organizer of an employee walkout designed to spur the company into further action by noting that sales and profit “are not driving our decisions here,” he said the company was considering additional steps to react to the mass shooting epidemic. Scaling the Wal Despite activist pressure over the years, Walmart has appeared reluctant to follow suit and completely discontinue the sales of firearms (and once fought off a shareholder lawsuit to review sales of assault rifles in a federal court), but it would not be accurate to say they’ve done nothing. It (mostly) stopped selling handguns in 1993, military-style semi-automatic rifles in 2015, and, following the Parkland, Florida mass-shooting last year, announced it would raise the minimum age to purchase guns and ammunition in its stores from 18 to 21. Last month, Walmart said it accounted for about 2 percent of the nation’s firearm sales. This impending limitation on ammunition is expected to decrease the company's share of the ammunition market from 20 percent to 6 percent. Wait and See Walmart is both the nation’s largest retailer in general, and it is widely thought to be the largest gun retailer, though it tightly controls its sales numbers. Whether this limitation affects Walmart’s bottom line is yet to be seen, but for comparison’s sake, Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling guns and ammo in 125 out of its more than 700 stores after the Parkland shooting. It’s shares fell 6% this year in response to the limitations. -Michael Tedder Photo by Adobe