Arkansas-based and global retail giant, Walmart, confirmed long-awaited suspicion and succumbed to pressure by announcing on September 3 that it would halt the sale of some gun ammunition, and deny their customers the ability to carry firearms within their stores openly. According to Walmart, this policy would take effect in all of their 5,000 stores and Sam’s Club locations within the United States. In addition to the new ammo and carrying restrictions, Walmart also announced that it would end all handgun sales in the state of Alaska; the only state where it still sells such weapons.
Walmart had stopped selling the type of assault-style rifle that was used in the El Paso shooting several years ago, but the company’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said the retailer recognized the need to do more “to make the country safer.” The nation’s largest retailer announced after weeks of discussion about how best to respond to the violence on August 3. The company said that after “selling through our current inventory commitments” it would discontinue the sale of certain short-barrel rifle ammunition and all handgun ammunition to include such calibers as .223 and 5.56 rounds that used in large-capacity rifle magazines. Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015 and 2018, raise the minimum age to buy firearms and ammunition to 21, from 18. It stopped selling handguns everywhere but in Alaska in 1993, and ended its sales of rifles like the AR-15 in 2015.
Walmart had attempted to make the appropriate internal changes to guns and ammunition sales to curb radical changes. However, after the tragic shooting in El Paso in August, repeated Democratic attacks and national protests finally pushed the retail giant into submission. The September 3 announcement elated the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates, who took to Twitter to praise Walmart in their efforts but stated that more government involvement and mandates were necessary to further restrict both gun and ammo sales.
This is a step in the right direction—and I’m grateful Walmart has taken action—but we can’t rely on corporations to stop gun violence. We need universal background checks, we need red flag laws, and we need to buy back every single assault weapon. https://t.co/m8fr3qzZcx
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 3, 2019
I applaud the brave Walmart workers who called on the company to stop selling guns. This is a good step, but we still have a gun violence crisis. Mitch McConnell must stop his cowardice, stand up to the NRA and allow Congress to pass common sense gun safety legislation. https://t.co/zC0mZqKdtq
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 3, 2019
This is a good start—but it’s not nearly enough. Walmart can and should do much more. And we need real gun reform, now. https://t.co/3gAZZ5ZxOK
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 3, 2019
Many retailers, in their “rapid response” to social responsibility, have ceased the selling of certain makes and models of both guns and ammunition. In March, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would remove firearms from 125 of its stores. The move followed the company’s ban on assault-style weapons in 2018 in the wake of the Parkland shooting. However, due to Dick’s new directive, their halt on assault-style weapons tanked overall company net income from $116 million (2017) to $102.6 million (2018).
So, will Walmart suffer the same fate? Is this “Roll Back on Guns and Ammo” really something that most Walmart consumers desire? Or, is Walmart, like Dick’s, pandering to political correctness and Liberal politicians? Like Dick’s, the customer response may be met with a continued decline in sales and ultimately, profits. For a company like Walmart that has seen a diminishing profit line, this course of action could have disastrous repercussions.
- Walmart annual net income for 2019 was $6.67B, a 32.37% decline from 2018.
- Walmart annual net income for 2018 was $9.862B, a 27.71% decline from 2017.
- Walmart annual net income for 2017 was $13.643B, a 7.15% decline from 2016.
No matter the customer response (and I imagine it will be very critical) to Walmart’s new “Roll Back on Guns and Ammo,” the political reaction to this announcement has set the stage for a Dynamic Duel in the 2020 Presidential Election. Walmart executives and Liberal politicians have now drawn a line in the sand against firearm and ammo manufacturers in the United States – an industry that is made up of 311,991 American jobs and accounts for $52,087,506,400 in American Economic Impact. By attacking gun and ammunition manufactures head-on, production will decrease, which will result in product scarcity; both of which will elate the Left. However, both “Bernie and the Gang” and the “Blue Vested, Smiley-Faced CEOs” of Walmart have underestimated the reactions of responsible, gun-wielding, God-fearing Americans who when attacked, come armed with their voices and their votes!
And, so it begins!