Walmart announces new gun policy in wake of mass shootings at their stores

Walmart announces new gun policy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A big change from one of the nation's top retailers.

Walmart says it will now reduce gun and ammunition sales.

In the past Walmart has made other decisions to stop selling handguns or military style rifles and to raise the age limit to purchase guns or ammo to 21.

However, this latest round of gun restrictions comes on the heels of a shooting in Southaven that has left the community pretty shaken up.

“Just pulling into the parking lot is just the feeling isn't the same,” said Will Sutton.

Tuesday was Sutton’s first time back at the Southaven store since a man walked into the store and shot and killed two employees and injured a police officer while trying to flee.

“Well, it’s an eerie feeling you know that kind of comes over you,” said Sutton.

In the wake of this Southaven shooting and another at an El Paso, Texas Walmart that took 22 lives, the Arkansas-based retailer announced Tuesday that after inventory is sold-out, they will discontinue handgun and short barrel rifle ammunition sales.

Southaven Walmart scene hours after Tuesday morning's shooting

They are also respectfully ask customers not to open carry in their stores.

Jerri Green, a volunteer with “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” says Walmart taking yet another step beyond required federal regulations is a huge step.

"They really have their finger on the pulse of what the American public wants and we’re tired of living in a country where gun violence is pervasive,” said Green.

Tuesday’s announcements will also have a big effect on gun stores like “Dabbs Gun & Pawn” store in Southaven.

“Anytime a big box store like that goes out and Walmart does sell a lot of ammo, it will help the small box stores,” said store manager Monte Dabbs.

Walmart suggests that Tuesday’s actions will reduce their market share of ammunition from around 20 percent to about 6 to 9 percent.

However, Dabbs still thinks the changes won’t stop another shooting like the one that happened in Southaven.

Others tend to agree.

“It’s the person pulling the trigger, not the gun that’s hurting people,” said Donald Simpson who lives in the area.

Meanwhile, Kroger also announced that they are asking customers not to open carry in their stores.

It’s unclear how Kroger plans to enforce the new rule, but Walmart says they will take a non-confrontational approach.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.