With many of the awful shootings lately taking place inside Walmart stores around the country, it’s not hard to guess why guns and ammo are big issues being discussed in relation to the retailer. It’s no secret that Walmart has long sold different firearms and ammo for them, and lots of people were displeased about this reality as the recent shootings took place in Walmart stores. Despite the fact that the shootings were not facilitated by guns and ammo acquired in the store at the time of the shootings themselves, people were displeased that Walmart was continuing to sell guns and ammo following the incidents, equating the decision to do so as not caring if they were contributing to the problem.
Whether or not that is true, Walmart has decided to take some more serious measures in placating the public. On Tuesday, the country’s largest retailer announced that they would stop selling handgun ammunition and short-rifle barrel ammunition, such as the 5.56 and the .223 caliber, as the latter type can often be used in assault style weapons. However, they will only stop selling ammunition after they have sold all of their current inventory. They will apparently also stop selling handguns in Alaska, which was the only state where Walmart still sold them at this point. Finally, Walmart has requested that customers not bring firearms into their stores in states that allow open carry, though considering the shootings that have taken place there, it seems unlikely that any legal citizen will be very eager to do so.
While Walmart is making these changes to their gun sale policies, they still plan to continue selling long barrel hunting rifles and shotguns, as well as the ammunition for these types of weapons. They will also still allow individuals with concealed carry permits to enter their stores with concealed firearms. As of right now, Walmart is responsible for about 2% of gun sales in the country, though it should be noted that nearly all of those guns are of the hunting variety. On the other hand, Walmart allegedly has about 20% of ammunition market shares to its name.
Walmart believes that the new changes to their ammo policy will lower that percentage to about 6% or 9%, but whether or not that is the case remains to be seen. It’s clear that Walmart is trying to appease the upset masses about their firearms policy, but they are also clearly trying to remain inclusive to gun owners, who are still a part of their customer base. Whether or not people will accept this attempt at balancing two extremes is unknown, as we can only speculate on how this major policy change will affect both sides of the argument, as well as Walmart itself.