Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO. (Walmart photo)
ONTARIO — Walmart will no longer sell short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunition, according to a press release by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon Tuesday. The change will be implemented at the Walmart in Ontario.
The company’s decision comes in the wake of the El Paso, Texas, shooting, where a gunman, inspired by ideals of white nationalism, killed 22 people in a Walmart.
“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,” McMillon said in the press release. “It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.”
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Walmart locations will sell out their current stock of the discontinued items, specifically .223 caliber, 5.56 caliber and handgun ammunition.
Walmart has previously limited its sale of firearms and ammunition by ending the sale of handguns or military-style rifles like the AR-15. The store has also raised the age limit to buy a firearm or ammunition to 21, requires a “green light” background check, videotapes the sale of firearms and only allows trained employees to sell firearms.
With the restriction of firearm and ammunition sales also came a request. Walmart is “requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores,” said. “As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach.”
Ontario Walmart store manager Rob Peterson highlighted that this is a request from the company.
“If a customer does not pose any type of threat or disruption to associates or customers, the manager would simply approach the customer, share our policy and ask for their cooperation in the future, but allow them to continue shopping and thank them for their business,” Peterson said.
Only if a customer was acting erratically while openly carrying, thus posing a threat, would law enforcement be involved.
“As always, the safety of our associates and customers is our priority and our partnership with local law enforcement will continue to be strong and used in the event of any threat or intimidation,” Peterson said.
In the statement, McMillon said the company believes this decision will reduce Walmart’s market share of ammunition from “around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%.”
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