Walmart reversed its decision to remove firearms and ammunition from its shelves, less than a day after making the announcement. In a statement, the retail giant said that the violent incidents were isolated to specific geographical areas, thus not significant enough to warrant the removal of firearms from its shelves across the country.
"After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution," Walmart's statement read. "As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.
Gun rights activists said they were disappointed by Walmart's decision to remove firearms from the display. Others said they were greatly surprised, calling the decision a huge mistake.
A few hours ago, protesters looted a Walmart's Philadelphia outlet leaving the store flooded and bullets strewn across the floor. Some looters broke into the stores through the roof, damaging the draining leading to the flooding. The demonstrators were protesting the shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a black man who was armed with a knife and ignored police orders.
The Philadelphia looting incident could have influenced Walmart's decision to remove firearms and ammunition from accessible locations across its stores.
Walmart has become a target of gun control activists who want to force the retail giant out of the firearm business. Over the years, Walmart has caved in by adopting various gun control measures, including a ban on open carry, halting the sale of AR-15 style firearms and .223 caliber ammunition. Additionally, the merchandising giant raised the minimum age for buying a gun to 21.
Walmart's CEO, Dough McMillion, announced last year that the retail giant would focus on hunting and sports rifles instead.
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