On Thursday, Walmart said it pulled guns and ammunition from the sales floors of U.S. stores as it sought to keep guns from being stolen if social unrest erupted.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done several times over the past few years, we have moved guns and ammunition off the sales floor as a measure of defense. prevent the safety of our associates and customers, “a Walmart spokesperson said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. “These items are still available for purchase.”
In June, the company removed firearms and ammunition from stores afterwhen damaged.
The nation̵7;s largest retailer remains the primary seller of guns and ammunition, though it has shrunk, selling guns in nearly half of the 4,700 stores in the US.
Walmartand shotguns after the 2019 shooting at one of its stores . The company stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015 and raised the minimum age for buying guns and ammunition to 21, from 18 in 2018. The company stopped selling handguns everywhere, except in Alaska in the year. 1993, and ended sales of rifles as the AR-15 by 2015.
However, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon resisted the pressure to force his company to phase out the gun business entirely, saying last year that the company’s remaining guns would be concentrated. into the.
Consumer demand for firearms has skyrocketed this year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade conglomerate, estimated 12.1 million background checks on gun purchases between January and July, up nearly 72% from 7. , 1 million gun inspections in the period one year ago.
According to the NSSF survey of handgun retailers, 40% of gun sales involve buyers who have never owned a gun. It concludes that nearly 5 million Americans bought guns for the first time in 2020.