Walmart on Friday said it was returning guns and ammunition to the storage floors, describing incidents the retailer called “civil unrest” at some of its stores earlier this week as “suffering from isolation”.
The move comes a day after Walmart said it pulled guns and ammunition from showroom stores. A Walmart was among stores looted during two nights of protest after Monday’s deadly police shooting in Philadelphia.
“After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to some of our stores, in line with the actions we took over the summer, we asked the stores to ship guns. and ammunition from the sales floor to an abundantly safe location in the back of the store, a Walmart spokesperson said by email. “Since current incidents are still geographically distant, they I made the decision to start bringing these products back to the marketplace today. “
The company also removed guns and ammo from stores in June afterhas been harmed in rallies following the death of George Floyd at .
The country̵7;s largest retailer remains a major seller of guns and ammunition, although 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 weapons in 2015 and raised the minimum age for gun and ammunition purchases to 21, from 18 in 2018. They stopped selling handguns everywhere except Alaska in 1993, and ending the sale of rifles like the AR-15. in 2015.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon resisted pressure for his company to phase out the gun business entirely, saying last year that the company’s remaining guns would focus on..
Consumer demand for firearms has skyrocketed this year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trading conglomerate, estimated to have had a record 12.1 million background checks for gun purchases between January and July, up nearly 72 percent. with 7.1 million gun inspections during 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.
The gun dealer reports one by onewhen the coronavirus is spreading. “If martial law is enacted, they want to be prepared to protect their home,” an agent told CBS MoneyWatch at the time. “With this coronavirus, there is a fear of the unknown.”
Before COVID-19, gun sales have declined in recent years in part because gun buyers were less concerned about stricter regulation under President Donald Trump. The explosion of mass shootings across the country has also caused some major companies and retailers to stop doing business with the gun industry.