So it’s official- on Wednesday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., America’s largest retailer and seller of guns and ammunition, has verified that they will focus more on “hunting and sportsman firearms” and ultimately stop selling AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles because of low demand. This decision comes out coincidentally on the same day two television journalists, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, were shot and killed in Moneta, Virginia, an incident that is likely to bring about more debates on gun ownership in America.
According to an article by Nathan Layne, New York City’s Trinity Church (an investor in Wal-Mart) has been advocating for tighter oversight of sales of guns with high-capacity magazines. In April, a federal court ruled in Wal-Mart’s favor and vacated an injunction that would have required a vote on the issue at its annual shareholders’ meeting. Read the full article here.
Contrary to popular belief, Wal-Mart has declined that their decision has anything to do with the political climate. In Phil White‘s official request for information on the company’s position of selling AR-15s now and in the future, Wal-Mart stated that “sales of this type of gun and accessories have dropped off a great deal. It’s a business decision and a decision made by our customers request we sell more traditional guns and accessories. In order to expand our offerings of traditional guns, we had to make more space and discontinue guns that were not selling. This is really about providing our customers with what they want to purchase.” Read the full blog post here.
According to Alexander C. Kaufman, confirming that AR-15s and semi-automatic rifles will not be available in Wal-Mart stores, may spark a surge of sales that would actually increase the number of people who possess these weapons (which are now listed at discounted prices). According to Kaufman, previous threats to rifle accessibility have just skyrocketed sales. Gun control advocates argue that limiting the availability of such weapons — specifically by removing them from the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer — will make them less likely to fall into the hands of would-be mass murderers. But is that really true? Read the full article here.
Spokesman Kory Lundberg had earlier told The Huffington Post that the weapons will be available for another few weeks.