Friday, October 22, 2021

Walmart reverses ban on guns in toy and collectibles areas

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Walmart Inc reversed its decision to pull guns and ammunition from its spring toy and toy collectibles displays after pressure from President Donald Trump and other supporters of gun rights, the company confirmed.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for Walmart said the world’s largest retailer would remove weapons and gun accessories from its toy and collectibles sections, following changes made at several other retailers.

A representative for Walmart confirmed the reversal on Thursday, adding it was done in response to “media inquiries” but not due to an increase in demand.

The country’s largest retailer on Tuesday said it did not see a demand spike after Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc announced it would pull guns and ammunition from its stores.

Trump thanked Walmart for reversing its decision in a Twitter post on Thursday, saying: “Great move on policy by @Walmart – will be interesting to see if other retailers follow. Thank you!”

Other retailers including Kohl’s Corp and Cabela’s Inc have also said they are removing some gun and gun accessories from store shelves after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed.

Still, some customers reacted with disappointment after learning Walmart would not be stocking assault-style rifles like the one used in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland.

“I am very disappointed and I hope these stores you bought guns and ammo from did the same. Gun control or no gun control,” Christal Ratcliff said on Twitter.

Walmart in 2012 became the first retailer to ban the sale of guns and ammunition to anyone under 21 years old, but allows people 21 and older to buy handguns.

The company last October also settled a lawsuit filed by the NRA over its sale of lightweight magazines.

Walmart had sold AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles since 1998. The AR-15 is among the rifles used in the Parkland shooting.

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