Walmart removes guns and ammo from its stores as the country faces civil unrest 

  • October 30, 2020 05:44 PM AEDT
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Walmart removes guns and ammo from its stores as the country faces civil unrest 

Summary

  • American retail operator Walmart took guns and ammunition off the shelves. The decision is a precaution amid civil unrest in the country. 
  • Walmart has shifted its focus from handguns to weapons for hunting and sport. 
  • Last year after the deadly gun attack in its store, which killed 22 customers, Walmart is taking cautious steps to avoid such incidents. 

Walmart Inc. has removed all guns and ammunition from its stores in the US this week. The retail giant stated that the decision was taken as a precaution in response to recent civil unrest in the country. Walmart issued letters to the store managers asking to remove all guns from the shelves. The United States is witnessing unrest, particularly in the isolated area, and the decision is taken out of an abundance of caution considering the safety of its workers and customers.  

A Walmart spokesperson told the media that it is essential to note that the company sells firearms in about half of its stores. The primary stores are in the areas where they have target customers of hunters, sportsmen and sportswomen.

Non-display of items doesn’t mean they are not for sale. People those who wish to purchase the guns and ammo can do so but only by request. Walmart till now has not specified the time limit of avoiding the display of these items.

The recent decision of removal follows witnessing unrest in Philadelphia. Violent protests and looting surged in Philadelphia, and more than 200 people were arrested with 57 police officers injured. The violent protest erupted after a deadly police-involved shooting took place. 

In June this year, Walmart took a similar decision after the nationwide protest over the death of George Floyd, which shook the country. Since the time unarmed Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis, the country is witnessing massive outburst, and many theft incidents have been happening all over. The company shifted firearms and ammunition off the shelves in some of its stores in the US.

Therefore, the current decision is taken to prevent potential theft of firearms, if the similar breaking and entering situation arises. 

Interesting Watch: US Retail Sales Number Surpass Expectation.

Shift in firearm sales strategy:

Since last year Walmart has stopped selling short-barrel and handgun ammunition. The company also discontinued handguns in Alaska stores. Walmart has shifted its focus from handguns to hunting rifles and related ammunition only and reduced its market share of ammunition from approximately 20 per cent to a range of 6 to 9 per cent. 

In a horrific gun-killing incident, a gunman entered Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people with an AK-style firearm. Walmart has already banned the sale of that particular firearm. 

For safety concerns, Walmart also requested its customers to refrain carrying firearms in its stores, unless they are law enforcement officers. 

Good Read: US Retail Space Under Scanner, March Sales Witness 8.7% Record Decline

Guns sale on the rise in 2020:

According to the numbers, gun sales in the US have increased during the coronavirus pandemic and continued to surge in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. Nearly five million Americans purchased firearms for the first time this year. Fifty-eight per cent of weapons purchased came from African American men and women in 2020 with women being 40 per cent of first-time buyers. 

 

 


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