Walmart will discontinue all sales of handgun ammunition and short-barrel rifle ammunition, used for military-style weapons, after two “horrific” shootings over the summer.
The retail giant will also end the sale of handguns in Alaska, the last remaining state where they can be purchased at their stores.
In states where open carry is allowed, the superstore will also stop shoppers from bringing their guns in the store while shopping, unless they are authorized law enforcement officers. Open carry legislation is allowed in more than 26 states.
Instead, the store will focus on the sales of long-barrel deer rifles and shotguns, along with hunting, sporting accessories and apparel.
The changes were announced on Tuesday by CEO Doug McMillon after a surge of gun violence, including two mass killings at Walmart.
“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,” said McMillon in a company wide email distributed to employees.
In the memo, McMillon estimated that the bold changes will reduce the company’s market share of ammunition, from around 20% down to around 6% - 9%.
The CEO of the biggest retailer of the world will also send letters to the White House and government officials to set “common sense measures.” He’s calling on congressional leaders to “strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.”
The news came after the Arkansas-headquartered chain faced public backlash for not pulling guns from stores after a fatal shooting in July at a Mississippi Walmart store left a police officer injured and two dead. Another shooting in El Paso, Texas on August 3 left 22 dead.
Last month, Walmart also announced they would pull violent video games out of stores following the shootings.
Company officials also explained how they'll soon add signage to stores to notify customers of the changes.
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