Walmart Inc, the country’s biggest retailer, said Tuesday it will stop selling ammunition for handguns and a few assault-style rifles in all its stores across the USA, and called for action on gun safety after a string of mass shootings, including at Walmart stores in Texas and Mississippi.
Walmart further called for a strengthening of background checks for gun buyers and action to take weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat of violence, which was followed by an almost similar message from grocery operator Kroger.
Both Kroger and Walmart, which removed the firearms and ammunition business in 2018 when its Fred Meyer unit stopped such sales, mentioned they are now asking customers not to carry guns into their stores, even when allowed by local legal guidelines.
The two retails giants are among a growing number of U.S. corporations, such as Delta Air Lines and Bank of America, that are responding to the controversy over guns and gun safety as mass shootings have increased, risking a backlash from influential gun owners’ teams while elected leaders think about options.
Kroger said it was “becoming a member of those inspiring our elected leaders to pass laws” on background checks and keeping firearms out of the hands of those at risk for violence.
McMillon said Walmart’s decision follows his visit to El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 6, three days after a gunman went on violence at a Walmart store there, killing 22 people.
Walmart will stop selling handgun sales in Alaska, the only state where it nonetheless sells handguns. The ban on the ammunition and handgun purchases will come into effect when the current stock is sold out.