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Walmart Turns Boldly Anti-Gun, Stops Sale of Ammo

September 3, 2019 – Walmart has recently gone on record to ban shoppers from the open carrying of guns in their stores and ending the sale of certain types of ammunition as a response to two deadly shootings at their stores.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said this in a memo on Tuesday:

After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons

He also said that Walmart will end the sale of handguns in Alaska, the only state in the Union where handguns are still being sold by the big box Giant. In addition, they plan to stop selling ammo for all calibers of handguns across the nation. As of now, they still plan to carry and sell shotguns and other rifles that have a primary use of hunting.

(In the memo at the bottom of the article, he calls back to Walmart's hunting heritage.)

This decision comes in the wake of two shootings taking place in Walmart stores that have taken the lives of many. Following those tragedies, critics of Walmart's gun and ammunition policy called for the company to step up their game to stop selling guns and ammo.

Walmart recently reported that they believed 20% of all ammo sales can be attributed to them, and expect their numbers will drop by more than half that number as a result of these changes.

In addition to the ammo change, Walmart is also banning their customers from open carrying their firearms while shopping.

The CEO stated that the company made this decision because of recent incidents where open gun carriers caused store evactuations to take place. This new policy will reportedly be effective immediately.

Concealed carriers will not be impacted by this new policy change. McMillon said in his memo:

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. 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 authorized law enforcement officers … As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach.

McMillon also stated in the memo how he thinks the so called “assault weapons ban” should be looked at again. Here is a direct quote:

We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I'm sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures.

Closing the memo out, he said that he owns a gun and that Walmart will remain committed to “serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women.”

Here is the full memo taken from my source.

A month ago, in El Paso, Texas, a gunman with an assault-style rifle launched a hate-filled attack in our store, shooting 48 people resulting in the loss of 22 innocent lives. Just a few days prior, two of our associates were killed by another associate in our store in Southaven, Mississippi. And hours after the shooting in El Paso, our country experienced another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. This weekend brought tragedy to Midland and Odessa, Texas.

In Southaven and El Paso, our associates responded to anger and hate with courage and self-sacrifice. Our immediate priorities were supporting our associates and the impacted families and cooperating with law enforcement. In parallel, we have been focused on store safety and security. We've also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer. It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.

After visiting El Paso on Aug. 6, I mentioned that we would be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses. We're ready to share our next steps.

We've been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We've previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.

Today, we're sharing the decisions we've made that go further: After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons; We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.

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. We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%. We believe it will likely drift toward the lower end of that range, over time, given the combination of these changes.

As it relates to safety in our stores, 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. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. 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 authorized law enforcement officers.

We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results. 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. As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach. This morning, we briefed your leadership team on how to communicate this change in policy to customers when needed, and they will be sharing that with you very soon. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our priority is your safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks.

As an additional step, we commit we will work alongside other retailers to make the overall industry safer, including sharing our best practices. For example, we are exploring ways to share the technical specifications and compliance controls for our proprietary firearms sales technology platform. This system navigates the tens of millions of possible combinations of federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements that come into effect based on where the firearm is being sold and who is purchasing it. We hope that providing this information, free of charge, will help more retailers sell firearms in a responsible, compliant manner.

Finally, 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. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I'm sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures. As we've seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. 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.

We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we're going to continue doing so. Our founder, Sam Walton, was an avid outdoorsman who had a passion for quail hunting, and we're headquartered in a state known for its duck hunting and deer hunting. My family raised bird dogs when I was growing up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and I'm a gun owner myself. 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. 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.

Let us know your thoughts on these changes in the comments below.

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18 Responses to Walmart Turns Boldly Anti-Gun, Stops Sale of Ammo

  1. Greg September 3, 2019 at 3:27 pm #

    Your going to loss a lot of people that won’t go into a place where they can’t carry there weapon like me Know More Wal Mart for me. Conceal you don’t know who has a weapon on them good luck with your dumb why of doing things.

  2. Jim ashurst September 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm #

    I think Mr. McMillon is being a hippocryte, why punish a nation because of one nutcase that just happen to target Walmart, or two nutcase (Mississippi & Texas)and what is he considering a short barrel rifle the only one that fall in that criteria is a ar-15 , which also come in other calibers besides 223/556, (again. Being a hippocryte)one rifle I have is a 223 that I use for vermin( foxes, coyotes,etc.)and deer hunting, hand gun ammo ,stopping sales of that s waste of time,firearms used in the mass shootings were rifles,btw , any item can be an assault item , there is no such thing as an assault rifle it’s a made up term, plus I don’t think it will hurt mr.Mcmillon to look at the bill of rights, especially the 2A, and to let these anti-gun groups and the Democratic party bully him in his decisions is a shame,thanx for listening

    • Rob Frisch September 7, 2019 at 12:25 pm #

      They are not “clips”, they are magazines. Sheesh! When will people start getting this right? Hey Hollywood writers, this means you too!

    • Rob Frisch September 7, 2019 at 12:34 pm #

      Right Jim. And apparently Walmart has learned nothing from the Target stores debacle a few years ago. Target banned guns on their property and then more customers were held up at gunpoint by criminals in the parking lot. That worked out well, huh?

      Mr. McMillon,
      A saying I recently saw – – -“You really think bad guys will obey gun laws? You’re a special kind of stupid aren’t you?”

  3. John Smith September 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm #

    My opinion is simple. I can live without Wal-Mart. I will no longer tolerate a retailer dictating what I can buy or not buy.
    Just look how well it has worked for Dicks. I no longer shop there either.

  4. Luke September 3, 2019 at 4:45 pm #

    It’s amazing how many people think the right to bear arms has anything to do with hunting. Guess I’ll be looking for a new place to do my odds and ends shopping.

    • John September 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

      Target, Dicks, now Walmart.
      My list of stores is getting shorter.
      I’m sure they are going to lose more than just the % of ammo sales.

      I never open carry.

  5. Tom September 3, 2019 at 5:45 pm #

    Does this include 9mm pistol rounds?

    • John September 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm #

      It says all hand gun ammo!!!

  6. Robert Nolan September 3, 2019 at 6:57 pm #

    Another company I will have to boycott!!! Just like Dick’s; Levi Strauss; Yeti; Under Armour; NASCAR; etc.!!!!!

  7. lynn gramoll September 3, 2019 at 7:15 pm #

    I don’t believe this will stop any of the violence in our world of 2019. the individuals who do these acts are the problem. They are the ones who need help. I think this decision is wrong. Lynn Florida

  8. samcolt September 3, 2019 at 8:44 pm #

    Evidently all handgun ammo would include 9mm.

  9. SP September 3, 2019 at 10:02 pm #

    🤣🤣 good luck WM….cause no matter what you do someone who wants a gun…or to go on a rampage is gonna go d ways to do it. Just because you don’t wanna sell certain things anymore doesn’t mean it’s never gonna happen again.

  10. Albert September 4, 2019 at 7:52 am #

    People that buy ‘one or two boxes of ammo before heading to the range, will have to find a ‘retail’ source such as your local gun shop or Bass Pro. Local ranges need to ‘stock up’ and provide ‘discounted’ ammo. ANY volume shooter will buy on line in 500 to 1000 round amounts or start reloading.

  11. Keith Perkins September 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

    I can live without Wal-Mart also… AMAZON BABY!!!. I am tired of these shops telling us what to buy, there are other places to give our business too. Places that support the NRA and 2nd amendment!.
    Wal-Mart is going to be the gun-free zone that is going to hurt itself for the stand “SHE” is taking. Just look how well it has worked for Dicks.

  12. Whitney September 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

    Dicks and Wal-Mart will never see a dime of my money ever again.

  13. Tony V September 4, 2019 at 7:49 pm #

    I suppose if the mass shooter had read your new signage and your new corporate policy, he would have just dropped his weapon and walked away? The stupid logic of Liberals baffles me. Where did this killer buy his ammo? All WM is accomplishing is making a political statement and nothing else.

  14. samcolt September 5, 2019 at 6:43 am #

    Wouldn’t it be ironic it the families of the victims of drunk drivers would sue the place of business that sold & the manufacturer of the beverages consumed in each case? I wonder, would Wal-Mart impose restrictions on alcohol sales? Especially since 10,497 people died in 2016 from alcohol related car accidents. What is the number again of those that have died because of those evil guns? (input drastic shudder)

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