Walmart will discontinue all sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style weapons, discontinue sales of handgun ammunition and stop all handgun sales in Alaska, ending all handgun sales chainwide. The retailer will no longer allow customers to carry firearms in stores located in open carry states unless law enforcement officers are present, though its concealed carry policy will remain the same.
The policy changes are being made in response to two shootings that took place at Walmart this summer. CEO Doug McMillon also will send letters to the White House and Congressional leaders calling on them to “strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.”
“As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades,” said McMillon in a statement. “We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act. Given our decades of experience selling firearms, we are also offering to serve as a resource in the national debate on responsible gun sales.”
Walmart will focus its remaining firearm assortment on hunting and sport shooting needs, such as deer rifles, shotguns and the associated ammunition. The retail giant will share aspects of its proprietary firearms sales technology platform with other merchants to improve responsibility.
Walmart currently accounts for 2% of the firearms market and 20% of the ammunition market in the U.S. The changes are expected to reduce the company’s share of ammunition sales to between 6% and 9% over time.
Last year, Walmart raised the minimum age to purchase guns or ammunition to 21 after a deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Other large retailers are winding down their firearm sales as well, and DICK’S Sporting Goods may end gun sales altogether.