Walmart will limit ammunition sales in response to the mass shooting in its El Paso store, the company has announced.
The retailer was urged by customers and commentators alike to end sales of ammunition used in military-style weapons after the horrific events in last month’s mass shootings, including a petition started by an employee that garnered over 45,000 signatures. But the move by the conservative-leaning company is still unexpected.
After selling their current supply, all stores will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition, as well as handgun ammunition, according to a statement. In Alaska, the stores will no longer sell handguns, ending the complete sale of handguns throughout the country.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand,” the company’s statement read. “As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same.”
Walmart will also “respectfully request” that customers no longer carry firearms in their stores, citing especially customers doing so in a show of gun-powered strength.
“As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers,” the statement read.
“We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them.”
Only law enforcement officials are exempt from the new rule, which will be implemented in stores this week.
Twenty-two people died and more than two dozen people were injured in a shooting in an El Paso Walmart in early August. The shooter left behind a manifesto describing his plan to target the Hispanic community in the town.