Walmart (NYSE: WMT) made another significant decision regarding its position about gun sales at its stores across the country.
On Tuesday, Walmart announced that it will stop all handgun sales in Alaska. The retail giant’s decision marks its complete exit from handgun sales.
In addition, the company also decided that it will discontinue selling short-barrel rifle ammunition including the .223 and 5.56 calibers. These ammunition commonly used in some hunting rifles but can be used also in large capacity clips on military-style weapons. It will also stop selling handgun ammunition.
Furthermore, Walmart is also prohibiting customers from openly carrying guns at its stores and at Sam’s Club in states that allows “open carry.” Law enforcement officers are exempted from the ban. The company clarified that it is not changing its policy for customers who have permits for concealed carry.
Walmart previously made a decision to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15. The company also raised the age limit to buy a firearm or ammunition to 21 and required a “green light” on a background check and to video tape the point of sale for firearms. It also implemented a policy that only certain trained associates are allowed to sell guns.
The retail giant’s latest steps come after the recent horrific shootings at Walmart stores in Southaven, Mississippi and El Paso Texas.
Walmart CEO urges U.S. government leaders to act on common sense gun safety laws
In a memo to Walmart employees on Tuesday, CEO Doug McMillon wrote that the company’s priorities include supporting its store associates and the families impacted by the horrendous shootings as well as cooperating with law enforcement. It is also “focused on store safety and security” and its role in “helping to make the country safe.”
According to McMillon, “It is clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable. We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand.”
He also encouraged the leaders in the country to enact “common sense measures” to reduce gun violence. He is requesting the White House and the Congressional leadership to strengthen background checks; remove weapons from people who pose an imminent danger and to discuss the effectiveness of reauthorizing the Assault Weapons ban.