NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.
The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store.
The retail corporation said Tuesday it will stop selling short-barrel and handgun ammunition after it runs out of its current inventory. It will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from handguns and allowing it to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand. As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same. Our remaining assortment will be even more focused on the needs of hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts. It will include long barrel deer rifles and shotguns, much of the ammunition they require, as well as hunting and sporting accessories and apparel,” Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo posted on the company’s site.
McMillon also encouraged the “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.”
A gun owner himself, McMillon said he’s sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that “call for action on these common sense measures.”
Voicing concern about the spotlight fading on the recent mass shootings, McMillon called on Congress and administration to act.
“We want what’s best for our customers, our associates and our communities. In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable.”
The National Rifle Association tweeted out their reaction to McMillon’s announcement Tuesday afternoon. “It’s shameful to see Walmart succumb to pressure of anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms.”
"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."
— NRA (@NRA) September 3, 2019
The grim death toll of the July attack stands at 22 people, with more than two dozen injured by gunfire.