Walmart, United States’ largest retailer, has said it would stop selling bullets for handguns and some assault-style firearms in all its stores across the United States.
Doug McMillon, Walmart’s chief executive officer, announced the decision on September 3, in a letter to the company’s employees.
The company also called for the government’s effort to strengthen background checks for gun buyers and gun safety, after a mass shooting incidents claimed seven lives in Texas last weekend.
Another shooter had gone on a rampage at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring 48 people last month.
In the letter, McMillon noted that the decision was taken after a long consideration.
The letter partly reads: “After visiting El Paso on Aug. 6, I mentioned that we would be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses. We’re ready to share our next steps.
“We’ve been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We’ve previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.
“Today, we’re sharing the decisions we’ve made that go further:
“After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 calibre and 5.56 calibre that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons;
“We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and
“We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand. As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same.
“Our remaining assortment will be even more focused on the needs of hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts. It will include long barrel deer rifles and shotguns, much of the ammunition they require, as well as hunting and sporting accessories and apparel.
“We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%. We believe it will likely drift toward the lower end of that range, over time, given the combination of these changes.”