Walmart is taking a step back from gun-related sales. The chain will discontinue the sale of ammunition for handguns and assault-style weapons—and will request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it. The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas, and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store, per the AP. The chain will stop selling short-barrel and handgun ammunition after it runs out of its current inventory. Short-barrel ammo can be used with military-style weapons, per CNBC. It will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from handguns and allowing it to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only.
"We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we're going to continue doing so," according to a memo by Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon. Walmart is further requesting that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms at its stores unless they are law enforcement officers. Last month, a gunman entered a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people using an AK-style firearm that Walmart already bans the sale of. Walmart's moves will reduce its market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of about 6% to 9%, according to Tuesday's memo. About half of its more than 4,000 US stores sell firearms.
(Read more Walmart