A Walmart spokesperson announced Wednesday that the multi-national retail chain will not be restocking its shelves of assault rifles and semi-automatic shotguns this fall when inventory runs out.
The company said that when the weapons with a magazine capacity of at least seven rounds sell-out, they will be replaced with “other hunting and sportsman firearms such as shotguns and rifles based on customer demand.”
“We previously carried modern sporting rifles in less than a third of our stores,” said aforementioned spokesperson Kory Lundberg. “Our merchandising decisions are driven largely by consumer demand.”
Despite the claim, retail consultant Burt Flickinger pointed to Walmart’s decision earlier this year to raise entry-level worker pay to $9 per hour as a sign that the company is becoming more responsive to public opinion polls.
In April, Walmart won a Court of Appeals case brought by a shareholder which sought to require its board to review its inventory policy of “products that especially endanger public safety and well-being, risk impairing the company’s reputation, or offend the family and community values integral to the company’s brand.”
“Walmart of this decade is quite different from the prior four decades,” Flickinger observed.
Certainly the National Shooting Sports Foundation would agree with that sentiment, as its spokesman said that demand is still high for these type of weapons which Walmart will no longer sell.
According to the Foundation, approximately 10 million of these high-capacity magazine rifles and shotguns have been used in the U.S. since 1990.
Walmart’s announcement coincidentally comes on the same day that two TV journalists in Roanoke, VA, were gunned down by a former co-worker during a live broadcast Wednesday morning.
[Reuters] [Forbes] [Photo courtesy Gunnar Rathbun/Invision for Walmart, via AP]