Wal-Mart has removed all guns and ammunition from the sales offices of its US stores this week, with the goal of preventing any possible gun theft when the store is in trouble due to social unrest.
The retail giant sells guns in about half of its 4,700 U.S. stores, and said that even if it is no longer on display, customers can still buy guns and ammunition upon request.
A Walmart spokesperson said: “We have seen some isolated civil strife. We have done this many times in the past few years. In order to prevent the safety of employees and customers, we have moved guns and ammunition out of the sales area.” He said the company has not yet decided how long to keep these items.
On Monday, several days of violent protests and robberies took place in Philadelphia, after the police fatally shot and killed a black man with a knife in the city on Monday.
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In a letter to the store manager on Wednesday, Wal-Mart asked employees to draw guns from the shelves, “due to the current unrest in remote areas of the country and out of caution.”
Wal-Mart also took firearms and ammunition from the stores after being killed by the police after George Floyd killed several Wal-Mart stores this summer.
Even if the country’s largest retailer cuts its products, it remains a big seller of guns and ammunition. Last year, after shooting and killing 23 people at a Wal-Mart store in El Paso, Texas, it stopped selling ammunition for semi-automatic rifles and pistols.
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After a fatal shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the company raised the minimum age to purchase guns or ammunition to 21 in 2018.
In 2015, the company stopped selling assault rifles and stopped selling pistols, except for Alaska more than two decades ago. Last year, it stopped selling pistols in Alaska.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said last year that stores will continue to sell guns and ammunition that attract hunters.
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According to a background investigation by the FBI, this is a sharp increase in the demand for firearms this year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade organization in the firearms industry, estimates that the number of cheques from January to July reached a record 12.1 million, an increase of 72% over the same period last year.
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