Walmart Will No Longer Sell Handgun Ammunition

“The status quo is unacceptable,” Walmart CEO said in announcing the decision.

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Walmart will stop selling ammunition for handguns and certain types of short-barrel rifles, the company announced Tuesday.

The retail giant made its decision in response to a shooting that killed 22 people in its El Paso store last month. In a memo sent to employees, CEO Doug McMillon cited additional shootings in Dayton, Ohio and Midland and Odessa, Texas as factors in his decision.

“We want what’s best for our customers, our associates and our communities. In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable.”

In 2015, facing mounting public pressure, Walmart stopped selling military-style assault rifles. With today’s announcement, the nation’s largest retailer has gone a step further. “After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons; We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition.” The company will also stop selling handguns entirely in Alaska. (Walmart stopped selling handguns in the rest of the US in 1993.)

McMillion also said that in a string of recent instances, gun rights activists attempting “to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers,” calling these actions “concerning” and something they’d “like to avoid.”

“We are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted.”

The move, a momentous development in the nation’s gun debate, came with a direct call for action from Congress. “Finally, we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.”

“As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act.”

Walmart will discontinue its handgun and short-barrel ammunition sales once its inventory runs out.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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