Walmart is banning customers from openly carrying guns and is asking the White House to pursue new gun controls, Breitbart reports.
CNBC reports that Walmart will continue to allow permitted concealed carry inside its stores but will post signs announcing an end to open carry, even in states where open carry is legal.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon used a memo to announce the open carry ban: “We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results. We hope that everyone will understand the circumstances that led to this new policy and will respect the concerns of their fellow shoppers and our associates.”
-Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Thursday called for a national debate on whether an assault weapons ban that Congress let expire in 2004 would be effective “in keeping weapons made for war out of the hands of mass murderers.”
-The retailer also released for the first time some of the data for its own gun sales: Walmart estimates it has a 2% share of the U.S. firearms market and 20% of ammunition sales.
-Walmart is declining calls for it to stop selling guns after recent shootings killed more than 20 people at two of its stores in Mississippi and Texas.
“In the national conversation around gun safety, we’re encouraged that broad support is emerging to strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. The re-authorization of the assault weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness in keeping weapons made for war out of the hands of mass murderers.”
I continue to be amazed by the courage, resilience and caring of our people. As it’s become 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. As we’ve shared previously, we will strive to use these experiences to
identify additional actions we can take to strengthen our processes, improve our technology and create an even safer environment in our stores. We’re also thinking through the broader issues related to gun violence and things we should do to help create safer communities. We would like for everyone to be reminded of the steps we’ve already taken:
• We stopped selling handguns in every state but Alaska in the mid90s.
• We stopped selling military-style rifles such as the AR-15 in 2015.
• We raised the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21 in
• Walmart only sells a firearm after receiving a “green light” on a
background check, while federal law only requires the absence of a
“red light” after three business days. We don’t sell a firearm until we
receive a “green light” regardless of the time period.
• We videotape the point of sale for firearms, only allow certain
associates to sell firearms, and secure firearms in a locking case with
individual locks, among other measures.
We’ve attempted to take common sense steps that allow us to serve customers and create a safer environment. We estimate that we represent about 2 percent of the market for firearms today, which we believe places us outside at least the top three sellers in the industry. We estimate we have about a 20 percent share of ammunition. In the national conversation around gun safety, we’re encouraged that broad support is emerging to strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness in keeping weapons made for war out of the hands of mass murderers.
The company is also asking people to not openly carry guns in their stores, including Sam’s Clubs locations, even if the person is in an open-carry state.
“As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals 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,” the statement says. “We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so 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 – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”
Over the last 15 years, Walmart had expanded beyond its hunting and fishing roots, carrying items like assault rifles in response to increasing demand. But particularly since 2015, often coinciding with major public mass shootings, the company has made moves to curb the sale of ammunition and guns.
In 2015, Walmart stopped selling semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 style rifle, the type used in the Dayton shooting. The retailer also doesn’t sell large-capacity magazines, handguns (except in Alaska) or bump stocks, nor the AK-style firearm that was used by the El Paso shooter.
Full statement from CEO Doug McMillon:
In Southaven and El Paso, our associates responded to anger and hate with courage and self-sacrifice. Our immediate priorities were supporting our associates and the impacted families and cooperating with law enforcement. In parallel, we have been focused on store safety and security. 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. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.
After visiting El Paso on Aug. 6, I mentioned that we would be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses. We’re ready to share our next steps. Read The Rest At Right Wing Tribune