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Walmart To Stop Selling AR-15s

Retailer claims the decision was financial, not political
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2015 4:58 PM CDT
Walmart To Stop Selling AR-15s
Walmart confirmed Wednesday it will no longer be stocking AR-15s and other high-capacity weapons in its stores.   (Ken Wolter /

Walmart, which sells more guns and ammunition than any other retailer in the country, will stop stocking AR-15s and other high-capacity firearms known as modern sporting rifles in the coming weeks, Quartz reports. Rumors about the change were circulated yesterday and confirmed to multiple sources today. Interestingly, a Walmart spokesperson says the decision has nothing to do with mounting political debate and public pressure over high-capacity weapons used in mass shootings, but is simply about slumping sales. "This happens to get more attention because of what the product is, [but] the decision was completely based on what customers are buying and what they want," a spokesperson told Quartz. The company will replace the modern sporting rifles with shotguns and other hunting weapons.

Forbes reports activist groups were putting pressure on Walmart to stop selling AR-15s and other "assault rifles" in response to recent shootings. But in the spring, the company won a court case against Trinity Church, a Walmart shareholder, that would have allowed the church and other shareholders to vote on limiting gun sales. According to Quartz, Walmart had long promised it would continue selling guns as long as people were buying them, but it started scaling back its sales as many as 15 years ago. Modern sporting rifles may be some of the best-selling guns in the country, but gun sales overall are dropping. Fortune reports Remington Outdoor Group and Smith & Wesson reported a more than 10% decline in sales in the first half of 2015. (More guns stories.)

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