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Walmart recently announced that it would no longer sell AR-15 assault rifle-like weapons that were especially re-purposed to serve the sport hunters.
The move was taken amid fierce national debates on gun control, but the retailer said that his decision was motivated by financial issues, rather than political ones.
According to Walmart, there was a slump in demand for those weapons so the management decided to take them off the shelves. Instead, they would be replaced with other types of shotguns and weapons especially designed for hunters.
The announcement was made before the Virginia shooting, in which two journalists were shot dead by their coworker who later took his own life. The shooter used a handgun, which fortunately cannot be bought at Walmart.
Gun control supporters were pleased with the news because in some other shootings similar types of arms were used.
Plus, several mass killings across the nation have made people wonder whether it is a good idea allowing anybody to sell weapons to just about anyone. Such practices lead to mass murders such as the 2012 Aurora Theater shooting in which a shooter killed 12 and injured 70 more, or the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, where 20 schoolchildren and teaching staff were killed.
After the Charleston Church shooting in which nine parishioners died including the pastor in June, Walmart announced that it would take extra measures to discourage gun sales. Additionally, its expansion was curtailed by controversies related to gun sale in urban areas.
Gun control supporters hope that the recent announcement would help other retailers to take similar measures. Walmart also said that it would no longer commercialize weapons that can support multiple rounds of ammunition. These types of weapons are usually preferred by mass murderers.
Walmart’s Kory Lundberg said that the automatic riffles would be taken off shelves within one or two weeks as stores refresh their stock for fall season. Currently, only a third of locations sell the weapons.
Mr. Lundberg also disclosed that the sporting riffles were not very popular among customers and the average customer was not looking to buy such firearms when entering the stores. On the other hand, the company declined to unveil how much guns it sold in the past 12 months.
Gun control critics, however, are puzzled by Walmart’s decision based on lack of demand since riffles are at high demand right now. According to National Instant Criminal Background Check System, sales of these weapons jumped to seven millions in the past few years.
Yet, Walmart sales may indeed have decreased because the retailer imposed additional background checks and additional measures that must have discourage buyers from purchasing guns at its stores.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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