Walmart on Tuesday announced a significant change in gun policy and a ban on sales of some types of ammunition in rejoinder to the nationwide epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence. Hunting rifles will still be sold in all Walmart stores.
CNBC reports: ‘Walmart said Tuesday it will discontinue all sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style weapons, discontinue sales of handgun ammunition and stop all handgun sales in Alaska, following two “horrific” shootings at Walmart stores this summer. The biggest retailer in the world is also asking customers at Walmart and Sam’s Club to no longer openly carry firearms in stores, in states where “open carry” is allowed, unless authorized law enforcement officers are present.’
CEO Doug McMillon writes a letter to Walmart employees nationwide informing them of the major policy shift:
“Last week, our Walmart family suffered two separate acts of violence. It is difficult to find a word strong enough to describe the way we feel. We’re feeling a wide range of emotions – shock, anger, grief. We are also feeling gratitude for the first responders in El Paso and Southaven and proud of the way our fellow associates reacted so courageously. … As it becomes clearer that the shooting in El Paso was motivated by hate, we are more resolved than ever to foster an inclusive environment where all people are valued and welcomed. Our store in El Paso is well known as a tight-knit community hub for people in the region, where we serve customers from both sides of the border. I continue to be amazed at the strength and resilience that we find in the diversity of the communities where we live and work.”
“Our first focus continues to be responding to the situation on the ground, and helping our associates, customers and law enforcement. There is a resource center on-site in El Paso where affected associates and their families can utilize counselors from Resources for Living for emotional support or talk to their leadership teams one-on-one. We want to make sure our associates have what they need to get through this difficult time, and to support the response effort and community members.
We are a learning organization, and, as you can imagine, we will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence. We will be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and we will act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals of our company, with a focus on serving the needs of our customers, associates and communities.”
“Thanks for what you do every day and especially during this difficult time. I’m grateful to be part of this team and proud of you. “