Walmart Doesn't Intend to Limit Gun, Ammo Sales After Shooting


DESPITE two deadly shootings at its stores in less than a week, United States retail giant Walmart has no plans to stop selling guns and ammunition, said a spokesman yesterday.

"Our focus has always been on being a responsible seller of firearms", spokesman Randy Hargrove said.

A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019.

Walmart announced in 2015 that it would stop selling AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles, and in February 2018, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff members were killed, Walmart was among multiple chains that announced it would raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21. Just past year, Walmart raised the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.

"We're focused on supporting our customers and associates in El Paso now", Hargrove said.

Walmart sells a range of firearms and ammunition in its stores.

It is not yet clear whether the mandatory active-shooter training completed by all Walmart (WMT.N) employees helped save lives in El Paso.

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Igor Volsky, founder and executive director of Guns Down America, said the killings at Walmart put the retailer under an obligation to take a lead. Walmart has said that it will continue to sell guns and ammunition. In early 2013, just one month after a gunman in Newtown, Connecticut, shot dead 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school, almost 300,000 people signed a petition urging Walmart to stop selling assault weapons.

The El Paso shooting was the third-deadliest mass shooting in Texas and among the deadliest in recent US history. It's unclear what next steps Walmart will take on the matter of gun sales and security.

After the company tweeted it was "in shock" after the El Paso tragedy, many users replied: "Stop selling guns".

A Walmart spokesman on Monday told Reuters the retailer has not made any change in its firearms sales policy after the mass shootings and that it has not issued a directive to any stores around the country to change policy.

"A lot of us are on edge", the 48-year-old said. "We are instead focusing on hunting and sportsman firearms". The other companies did not respond to a request for comment.

In addition, Walmart requires background checks to purchase a gun and has stopped selling toys that look like assault rifles - including airsoft guns.