Walmart announced on Wednesday that the company will no longer sell guns and ammunition to people under the age of 21. And, Kroger announced Thursday that it would no longer sell guns or ammunition at its Fred Meyer stores to anyone under 21, either.
Walmart decided to assess their firearm policy “in light of recent events.”
“Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change,” Walmart said in a statement.
“We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys. Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way,” Walmart said.
The public has been demanding tighter gun regulations after the Florida high school mass shooting on Feb. 14 that left 17 people dead.
Walmart is not alone in such decisions. The nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, also announced on Wednesday that they would raise the age for the sale of all firearms to 21 and also stop selling assault-style weapons.
Walmart claims the company hasn’t sold “modern sporting rifles,” the type that was used in the Florida school shooting, since 2015.
“We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers. We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” Walmart said.
Seventy percent of Americans generally support stricter gun laws, according to a recent CNN poll.
The hashtag “BoycottNRA” swept social media recently and corporations have changed their policies as a result, with several terminating their business relationships with the National Rifle Association (NRA). Both BlackRock and Bank of America have plans to do something similar.
“Even if we disagree with management, we focus on engaging with the company and understanding how they are responding to society’s expectations of them,” BlackRock spokesperson Ed Sweeney said in a statement.