Walmart changes gun policies after shootings

22 people will killed at a Walmart shooting in El Paso in Texas last month

A Walmart logo forms part of a sign outside a Walmart store, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Walpole, Mass. Walmart is going back to its folksy hunting heritage and getting rid of anything that's not related to a hunting rifle after a mass shooting this summer. Walmart will also continue to allow concealed carry by customers with permits in its stores.

Walmart said Tuesday it will stop selling handguns and some types of ammunition in its US stores following recent mass shootings.

Walmart announced it will reduce its gun and ammunition sales, the company said Tuesday. "Just a few days prior, two of our associates were killed by another associate in our store in Southaven, Mississippi". It marks one of the strongest statements from Walmart, the powerful, largest retailer in the U.S.

The company will also no longer sell ammunition for short-barrel rifles, which are often used in hunting but can also be used in military-style weapons. Walmart also announced it will stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state it still sells them in.

Shoppers who attempt to open carry, excluding authorised law enforcement officers, will be informed by staff members about the new policy with a "non-confrontational approach", Walmart said, noting that it will soon share more details on how to do that safely.

The retailer, however, said it would continue to cater to hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts, selling long barrel deer rifles and shotguns.

Walmart changes gun policies after shootings

Walmart's only response until now involved removing displays of violent video games, a move criticised by gun-control advocates as feckless.

In 2018, Kroger-owned Fred Meyer stopped selling guns. The retailer cited weak sales.

Walmart reminded customers that it has changed its policy regarding firearms sales in the past, including stopping the sale of military-style rifles such as the AR-15, raising the age limit to purchase firearms or ammunition to 21, and requiring a "green light" on background checks.

At the time, Dick's took a political stand on the issue, with CEO Ed Stack calling for "common-sense reforms", stricter background checks and other changes to gun laws. Those moves were prompted by the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

McMillon told his employees that he is "sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures".

"As we've seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades".

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