Walmart ends sales of ammunition for military style weapons

Ella Alpert '22, Staff Writer

Walmart announced that they will no longer sell ammunition for military-style weapons, and customers will not be allowed to carry firearms in Walmart stores. Walmart owns about 20% of the ammunition market. “That share now could fall to as little as 6%,” according to an article written by The Washington Post.

These changes come nearly a month after the El Paso shooting that killed 22 people in a Texas Walmart. Before the El Paso shooting, two Walmart employees were shot and killed in a store in Southaven, Mississippi. In California, 40 Walmart employees quit to protest the company’s gun policies.

Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, issued a statement to his employees explaining the change in their policy. “I’m a gun owner myself,” the statement said.“We understand that heritage, our deeply rooted place in America and our influence as the world’s largest retailer. And we understand the responsibility that comes with it.”

Many politicians, gun control advocacy groups and students had very positive responses to the change in policy. Schools have become a target of mass shootings, so many students were happy with Walmart’s change.

Charlotte Foege ’20 shared a similar opinion. “It will have a positive influence because people won’t be able to carry and use their guns without ammunition,” Foege said.

Westport, is less than an hour away from Newtown, Connecticut where the Sandy Hook shooting took place in 2012. Madison Futoma ’22, lived in Newtown from when she was in preschool until kindergarten. Although Futoma was living in Westport when the Sandy Hook shooting took place, she grew up with many of the kids who were affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.

Futoma supports Walmart’s new policy and believes it’s a step in the right direction for gun control.

“In my opinion, gun control is the most important issue right now that needs to be resolved,” Futoma said. “I think safety is really important especially for students… sometimes I feel like we’re almost risking our lives to go to school everyday.”

I think safety is really important especially for students… sometimes I feel like we’re almost risking our lives to go to school everyday”

— Madison Futoma ’22

In addition, Staples experienced its own scare in 2018 when a student threatened to shoot a teacher. “Safety is something students have had to become more aware of while at school,” Hannah Strauss ’21 said.
Many Staples students believe Walmart’s new policy isn’t enough to make a significant difference in public safety. “I think if more stores did it, then maybe, but just Walmart won’t do too much,” Issy Gryspeerdt ’21 said.

The change in policy received a lot of criticism from gun rights advocates. John, an employee at Walmart in Norwalk Connecticut could not disclose his last name, but explained there have already been complaints about the new policy. “I’ve had lots of complaints because some people do it as a sport which they are now trying to outlaw,” John said.

Viktor Popov, a gun owner and Connecticut resident doesn’t support Walmart’s new policy. “Walmart is a private business, a corporation so that’s their decision,” Popov said. “Most likely it’s not going to be welcomed by the gun owner community because it’s sort of like a political stance.

Aside from whether or not one supports Walmart’s new policy, Staples students, along with other Americans agree that something must be done to end gun violence. According to a recent study by Quinnipiac University, 94% of Americans support universal background checks and 61% support tighter gun laws.

“In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again,” McMillon said.