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.
We're in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 & club 6502 are located. We’re praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement & will update as appropriate.
— Walmart (@Walmart) August 3, 2019
Stop selling guns?— Ryan Houlihan (@RyanHoulihan) August 3, 2019
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 3, 2019
— kristen batista (@kris_batista18) August 3, 2019
— Ambreen Khan (@_ambreen) August 3, 2019
I believe @Walmart has a civic duty to protect its employees & customers from gun violence.
I'm calling on @Walmart to:
1. stop selling guns
2. stop giving $ to @NRA backed lawmakers
3. invest in gun buybacks around USA
Join me: https://t.co/U6Q3ohGGDl
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) August 5, 2019
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.
More guns = more gun deaths. After the horrible tragedy in El Paso, we're calling on @Walmart to be a leader in the fight for gun reform. Join us in urging them to cease the sale of firearms and use their unique position to help make our communities safer. https://t.co/E7rF448kpC pic.twitter.com/kCoxlJp4IB
— Guns Down America (@gunsdownamerica) August 5, 2019
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.
The El Paso Walmart is an open-carry store.
Texas is an open-carry state.
No "good guy" with a gun stopped the "bad guy" with a gun.#GunControlNow
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) August 3, 2019
Some Walmart shoppers are calling on Walmart to end their open-carry laws as well.
I’m a volunteer with @MomsDemand , and I just bought my kids’ school supplies at the Little Rock, Arkansas Target. I won’t be going back to @Walmart until they stop allowing open carry in their stores. #ExpectUs #ARLeg pic.twitter.com/ObAJhWGSt7
— eve from Arkansas (@evesuzanne) August 4, 2019
Ban open carry in your stores. Support background checks. As a business, Walmart is complicit. #BoycottWalmart— Kelly Reynolds (@KellyReynoldskd) August 4, 2019
Stop the open carry in your stores. I will not be back into an open carry store.— EileenTexasBlue (@EileenForBlue) August 5, 2019
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.”