Walmart has announced it will stop selling handgun ammunition and some rifle ammunition.
The decision came in a press release Tuesday morning, in which CEO Doug McMillion asserted that Walmart would sell-through and discontinue all sales of .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber rifle ammunition, and all calibers of handgun ammunition, in addition to discontinuing handgun sales in Alaska, the last remaining state where handguns were available in Walmart stores.
Further, McMillion said Walmart is “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’ve been working to understand the many important issues arising from the horrific events in El Paso and Southaven, as well as those raised in the national discussion around gun violence. Today, we’re sharing some next steps: https://t.co/chWzGf6Amv pic.twitter.com/Ye3xjjRdrh
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) September 3, 2019
McMillion cited the shootings in Southaven, Miss., along with El Paso, Texas, along with other recent shootings, for taking action.
“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,” McMillion said in the press release. “It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.”
McMillion said Walmart had previously made decisions to stop selling handguns and AR-15 rifles, in addition to raising the age limit for firearm and ammunition sales, and strengthening their policy on background checks for gun sales.
With the new steps, McMillion said Walmart is going further in its restrictions on firearms sales, fulfilling his promise of issuing a “thoughtful and deliberate” response to the latest shootings.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand,” McMillion said.
McMillion also called for stronger background checks and red flag gun confiscation laws.
“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,” he wrote. “Today, I’m sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures.”
“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,” McMillion added.