Walmart announced on Wednesday that the company would no longer sell ammunition for .223/5.56 caliber rifles in light of the recent shootings in Midland and Odessa Texas, according to the Associated Press.
Doug McMillion, the President, and CEO of Walmart released a company memo Wednesday in which he made clear the company’s goals which include a complete ban of the sale of all handgun and .223/5.56 ammunition.
“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,” said McMillion in a company-wide memo to sales associates on Wednesday. The memo also states that Walmart will discontinue the sale of handguns in the state of Alaska, which will mark the company’s total exit from the handgun market.
The company executives will instead focus their marketing on long-barreled rifles, and hunting related accessories. According to the memo, this is believed to reduce Walmart’s market share on ammunition from around 20% to between 6% to 9% over time.
The nationwide retail chain announced that in addition to these changes, it is also amending its policy to prohibit customers from open carrying handguns in states where it is otherwise permitted by law. However, there will not be any change in Walmart’s concealed carry policy at this time.
We’ve been working to understand the many important issues arising from the horrific events in El Paso and Southaven, as well as those raised in the national discussion around gun violence. Today, we’re sharing some next steps: https://t.co/chWzGf6Amv pic.twitter.com/Ye3xjjRdrh
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) September 3, 2019
“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. As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach. This morning, we briefed your leadership team on how to communicate this change in policy to customers when needed, and they will be sharing that with you very soon. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our priority is your safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks,” McMillion said.
Although it is Walmart’s decision to sell what the wish to their consumers, the company’s current CEO seems to be echoing the sentiment of gun-grabbers in DC.