NRA slams Walmart for cracking down on gun and ammo sales
Rifle association criticizes retail giant for caving to pressure from 'anti-gun elites'
The U.S. National Rifle Association lashed out at Walmart late Tuesday, criticizing the retail giant for discontinuing sales of some gun ammunition products and requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms in its stores.
"It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America's fundamental freedoms," the NRA said in a release.
Walmart won praise from gun control advocates for its statement Tuesday announcing a decision to curb sales of some guns and ammunition, as well as to discourage open carrying of weapons in store by shoppers.
Walmart's announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas, and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store.
On Aug. 3, a gunman entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people with a type of firearm that the retailer already bans the sale of. It was the deadliest shooting in Walmart's history. A second unrelated shooting that same day in Dayton, Ohio, killed nine people.
"It is shameful to see <a href="https://twitter.com/Walmart?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Walmart</a> succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms." <br><br>Read <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NRA</a>'s statement on Walmart's decision here: <a href="https://t.co/bmwAS9o0KP">pic.twitter.com/bmwAS9o0KP</a>—@NRA
A few days before that, two Walmart workers were killed by another worker at a store in Southaven, Miss.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter said it will stop selling handgun ammunition as well as short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 calibre and 5.56 calibre used in military style weapons, after it runs out of its current inventory.
That in turn will reduce Walmart's market share of ammunition from around 20 per cent to a range of about six to nine per cent, according to a memo from company chief executive Doug McMillon.
Walmart will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska. The company stopped selling handguns in the mid-1990s in every state except Alaska. The latest move marks its complete exit from that business and allows it to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only.
Supporters of stricter gun laws say that as the nation's largest retailer, Walmart will have an outsized influence on the gun debate, sending a strong message to Congress as well as other corporations to take action.
"Walmart deserves enormous credit for joining the strong and growing majority of Americans who know that we have too many guns in our country and they are too easy to get," said Igor Volsky, executive director and founder of Guns Down America, in a statement.
With files from The Associated Press