Walmart Pulls Guns Off Shelves as Precaution Ahead of Election

October 30, 2020by Matt Townsend, Bloomberg News
A Walmart store is seen in Landover, Maryland, December 31, 2014. The accidental fatal shooting of a US woman by her own two-year-old son at a Walmart store has left her family devastated and again raised questions about gun safety in America. Veronica Rutledge was out shopping with her son and three nieces on December 30, 2014 in Hayden, Idaho when the child unzipped her handbag specially designed to carry a concealed weapon and the gun went off. The 29-year-old nuclear research scientist, who held a concealed-carry permit, got the bag last week as a Christmas gift from her husband Colt Rutledge, with whom she shared a passion for guns. "An inquisitive two-year-old boy reached into the purse, unzipped the compartment, found the gun and shot his mother in the head," her father-in-law Terry Rutledge told the Washington Post newspaper. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Walmart Inc. has temporarily pulled ammunition and guns off its shelves ahead of any possible looting or civil unrest that could take place following next week’s election.

“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” Walmart said in an e-mailed statement. “These items do remain available for purchase by customers.”

The retail giant made a similar decision this summer during unrest following the death of George Floyd by police, a move intended to dissuade any potential theft if stores were broken into during protests.

A year ago, Walmart, which only sells firearms in about half its stores, said it would discontinue sales of .223 caliber ammunition and other sizes that can be used in assault-style weapons. It also announced plans to stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it still sold them. The move followed deadly attacks at its stores in Texas and Mississippi that left 24 people dead and reinvigorated debate over gun sales at America’s largest retailer.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier.

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(c)2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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