Walmart quickly reversed a policy to remove guns and ammunition displays from its stores this week due after rioters in Philadelphia damaged several Walmart stores.
In a statement provided to American Military News, Walmart said, “After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution. As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”
Walmart had cited the riots in Philadelphia for implementing the restriction on Thursday.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers. These items do remain available for purchase by customers,” a Walmart spokesperson told American Military News.
On Tuesday, an estimated 1,000 people engaged in rioting and looting in Philadelphia. Video footage emerged showing the aftermath of the looted and devastated Walmart store in the city.
Walmart had implemented an identical measure to remove guns and ammunition from shelves in early June following a week of rioting following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.
At that time, Walmart had said guns and ammunition would be removed from the sales floor in some locations and stored in a “secure room.”
Walmart stores in major cities where the rioting has occurred over the past five months typically do not sell firearms.
“It’s important to note that we only sell firearms in approximately half of our stores, primarily where there are large concentrations of hunters, sportsmen and sportswomen,” the Walmart spokesperson said this week.
Walmart currently operates 4,700 stores in the U.S.