Residents React to Walmart Gun Crackdown
Walmart is taking steps to try and combat gun violence.
The retail giant announced Tuesday that it would stop the sale of handgun ammunition and short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style weapons once the current stock ran out.
In addition to limiting it’s ammunition sales, Walmart is asking customers not to openly carry firearms in stores. This includes states that permit open carry such as Alabama.
It will also stop all handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from the handguns category.
The move comes on the heels of several mass shootings and has sparked controversy locally and nationwide.
In Montgomery, some residents praised the move by Walmart.
“I fully support Walmart stopping sales of handguns and AR ammunition sales. I’m happy they are urging congress to pass universal background checks. I support universal background checks, the red flag laws and bans on assault rifles and large capacity magazines. These measures are proven to reduce gun violence in other countries,” said Terry Brown, a Montgomery resident.
Even though Alabama is an open carry state, some residents say seeing someone openly carrying a firearm in Walmart is a scary thought.
“I know if I’m shopping in Walmart with my grandson and I see someone carrying a gun then I’m going to be very scared and would want to get him out of there,” said Brown.
Other Alabamians disagree.
“I think it is ridiculous since the last gunman that I saw walked in there and started shooting people. Ever since that incident, I have packed a weapon going into Walmart. I will not go into Walmart if they tell me they don’t want me in there with my weapon. I don’t do much shopping there but the bottom line is this, I’m here to protect myself and you. That’s what I’ll do,” said B.C. Cantor.
Walmart said it won’t be changing its policy for customers who have permits for concealed carry. And it will be adding signage to stores in the coming weeks to clearly communicate the changes.
One Alabama resident who did not wish to be identified said the open carry law makes her feel safer even though she knows some could abuse the law.
“I do understand that based on the recent events that have happened with Walmart and the shooting in Texas, however, there are certain passages and laws they have to abide by to get the concealed or open carry permit. My family personally conceal carries and it makes feel safer in public but I do know that people can abuse it.”
Bama Carry, an Alabama gun rights group says Walmart has the right to sell or not sell anything they want to however, this move will not make a difference or stop the violence.
“If they think what they have done, as far as pertaining to ammunition sales, and deciding not to sell ammunition such as pistols, will make a difference, they are 100% wrong,” said Eddie Fulmer, President of Bama Carry.
The National Rifle Association of America, a gun rights advocacy group, responded to the announced changes by tweeting “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.”
“What they’ve actually done is given the anti-gun movement ammunition because they have succumbed to the pressures of the anti-gun movement. They have taken the right of the law-abiding citizens, to defend themselves, away,” said Fulmer.
Walmart said in a statement that it intends for its remaining store assortment to be focused on the needs of hunting and sport-shooting enthusiasts.
The store will continue to carry long barrel deer rifles and shotguns, much of the ammunition they require, as well as hunting and sporting accessories and apparel.