Walmart Pressured To Stop Selling Firearms In Wake Of El Paso Shooting
Citizens have taken to Twitter to urge Walmart to stop selling firearms altogether in the wake of the El Paso massacre
In the wake of the El Paso mass shooting, the Dayton, Ohio mass shooting, and another shooting at a Mississippi Walmart that left two dead — citizens are begging Walmart to stop selling guns and ammunition altogether.
Walmart stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015 and after the Parkland shooting in February 2018, Walmart raised its minimum gun purchasing age to 21. Similarly, Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling assault-style rifles and raised it’s gun purchasing age to 21 after the Parkland massacre as well. However, Walmart has long been a popular destination for purchasing hunting rifles and equipment, so even though they adjusted the age limit after Parkland, the company released a statement that claimed that its “heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.”
After the El Paso shooting Walmart released a statement, but the public took to Twitter to urge the giant retailer to end the sale of firearms and ammunition altogether.
The gun reform advocacy group Guns Down America is circulating a petition to demand that Walmart stop selling firearms, stop making contributions to politicians who also receive funds from the NRA, and participate in gun buyback programs. Guns Down America also pointed out that it’s already incredibly easy to obtain a gun in America, meaning that if Walmart stopped selling firearms, guns rights activists should theoretically still be satiated, seeing as their second amendment rights are still intact and they can find a number of other retailers at which to purchase a rifle.
It is not clear where the El Paso gunman purchased his assault weapon, though it’s unlikely he purchased it at Walmart as they haven’t carried them since 2015. However, many on Twitter also pointed out that the El Paso Walmart (like many Walmarts in Texas) is an open-carry store. The logic behind open-carry laws is that citizens should be free to openly carry weapons on their person in the name of self-defense. Tragically, open-carry laws failed to stop the massacre on Saturday morning.
Some Walmart shoppers are calling on Walmart to end their open-carry laws as well.
Currently, Walmart has no plans to change its gun policy.
“There’s been no change in policy,” Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told USA Today, saying the retailer is focused on caring for customers and employees at the El Paso store. “It’s horrible.’’
However, the public pressure may work as Walmart has amended their gun policy over the years. Once upon a time, Walmart even sold handguns, though they phased them out in 1993 citing a marketing study that proved the guns made shoppers “uncomfortable.”