A month after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas claimed 22 lives, Walmart (WMT) - Get Report on Tuesday said it will stop selling rifle bullets that can also be used in military-style guns. It also said that it will call on leaders in Washington to take action to curb gun violence, among other steps.
Walmart said it will also no longer sell handgun ammunition, having previously stopped selling handguns, and is "respectfully requesting" customers no longer openly carry guns in states that have open carry laws unless they are law enforcement officers.
In a letter to employees, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the nation's largest retailer also plans to make its voice heard in the heated national debate over gun control, urging a strengthening of background checks and efforts to "remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger," in an apparent reference to red flag laws.
McMillon said the retailing giant had been mulling what steps to take after a spate of recent mass shootings nationwide that included the tragedy in El Paso as well as an attack at a Walmart store in Southhaven, Miss. in which two store employees were killed.
The company noted it had previously stopped selling handguns and military-style assault rifles, among other measures. The retailer said it will refocus its selection and sales on long barrel deer rifles and shotguns and the accompanying ammunition.
"We've also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer," McMillion wrote, continuing in bold that "It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable."
As a result of its decision, Walmart anticipates its share of ammunition sales will fall from 20% down to the 6%-to-9% range.
Walmart shares edged up .39% to $114.70.