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Walmart restricts ammunition sales, calls for stronger background checks: NPR



Walmart logo forms part of sign outside Walmart store, Tuesday, September 3, 2019, in Walpole, Massachuset Walmart returns to its national hunting heritage and rids itself of anything unrelated to mass shooting this summer.

Stephen Sen / AP


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Steven Sen / AP

Walmart logo forms part of sign outside Walmart store, Tuesday, September 3, 2019, in Walpole, Massachuset Walmart returns to its national hunting heritage and rids itself of anything unrelated to mass shooting this summer.

Stephen Sen / AP

Walmart dramatically reduces ammunition sales and asks shoppers to refrain from carrying firearms openly in their stores.

These are a few of the changes Walmart makes to its arms sales policy after two shootings a month ago at two Walmart stores within a week.

"As a company, we have experienced two horrific events in a week and will never be the same," Walmart CEO Doug McMillan wrote to employees Tuesday.

Walmart is in the midst of a debate on arms policy as it faces new calls to tighten arms and ammunition sales. A month ago, 22 people were killed in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, an incident that is being treated as domestic terrorism. And four days earlier, a disgruntled employee killed two Walmart workers in Southaven, Miss.

"It is clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable," McMillan wrote Tuesday. He notes one of Walmart's strongest statements, the powerful and largest retailer in the United States

Walmart plans to stop selling ammunition for short-barreled pistols and shotguns, which are commonly used for hunting also used with military-style weapons. Walmart will also stop selling guns in the only state where it still sells them, Alaska.

Walmart says its current market share in ammunition is around 20% and new reductions will reduce its profile in this market to about 6% to 9%.

The merchant also urges buyers to refrain from carrying weapons in their stores openly, even if cities and states allow weapons in stores – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.

"We know that these solutions will make some of our customers uncomfortable and we hope they will understand," McMillan writes, adding that Walmart's retail focus will shift further to "needs." Hunting and Sport Shooting Lovers "

The moves are Walmart's largest move since the El Paso firing, which has generated strong calls from defenders of arms control, democratic by lithics and some buyers and retailers to stop all arms sales.

Last month, Walmart instructed workers to download displays of video games with violent images and make sure that none of the screens in the stores displayed violence.

Walmart's most significant gun sales decision came in 2015, when the retailer quietly stopped selling military-style rifles or assault. The trader indicated poor sales.

Last year, Walmart also stopped selling weapons and ammunition to people under the age of 21, the same day that Dick's Sporting Goods announced that it would stop selling military-style rifles and cease selling rifles and ammunition for those under 21

At that time, Dick took a political stance on the matter, calling executive director Ed Stack for "common sense reforms", tighter background checks and other changes to gun laws. The shooter from Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, had purchased a different gun, which was not used in the shooting, in Dick.

On Tuesday, Walmart's McMillon stated that he also wrote to Congress and the White House, calling for action on "common sense measures." He called for more debate on re-authorizing the ban on assault weapons.

"We encourage our country's leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger," he wrote. "As we saw before, these horrific events happen and then the spotlight fades. We must not allow this to happen."

Editor's note: Walmart is among the latest NPR sponsors. [19659026]
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