In the wake of a series of mass shootings in recent weeks - including an armed attack at a store in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed - officials at Walmart announced on Tuesday that the store would no longer sell ammunition for handguns, as well ammunition for short-barrel rifles which can be used with military-style weapons.
"It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable," Doug McMillon, the head of Walmart, said in a lengthy statement posted on the company's website.
McMillon said Walmart would continue to sell ammunition and firearms which focus on hunting, along with related accessories and apparel.
"We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a rang of approximately 6 to 9%," McMillon added.
Walmart is also asking its customers not to openly carry weapons into stores as well.
In his statement, McMillon said there 'have been multiple incidents' since the El Paso mass shooting, where people have entered Walmart stores with firearms, 'carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers.'
"(W)e are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers," McMillon said.
In Congress, Democrats quickly praised the company for the decision.
“A step in the right direction, and sadly long overdue,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX).
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.