Walmart begins returning guns and ammo to store shelves amid ‘isolated civil unrest’

Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News
·2 min read

Walmart has announced it is returning guns and ammo to sales floors in all of its United States locations, backtracking on a decision earlier this week requiring they be stored in a secure room amid recent “civil unrest.”

The retail giant said it originally instructed managers to move firearms and ammunition to a locked area after two nights of protests in Philadelphia, where Walter Wallace Jr. was shot and killed during a confrontation with police on Monday.

Authorities said they opened fire after the 27-year-old father ignored repeated orders to drop his knife.

“After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution,” a Walmart spokesperson said in an email to CBS News on Friday.

“As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”

The company similarly removed weapons from their sales floor in June, amid unrest sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd. He died in Minneapolis on Memorial Day after an officer knelt down on his neck for an extended period of time.

Walmart sells firearms and ammunition in roughly half of its 4,700 U.S. stores. In 2019, the nation’s largest retailer stopped selling ammunition that can be used in semiautomatic rifles and handguns after 23 people were fatally shot at a store in El Paso, Texas.

The year prior, the company raised the minimum age to buy such items from 18 to 21, and it stopped selling assault-style weapons as a whole in 2015.

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