Walmart’s New Guns & Ammo Policy Doesn’t Make Anyone Safer

Photo via flickr.

Walmart announced yesterday that it’s making some changes in relation to ammunition sales and its rule regarding open carry. According to this CNBC article, the nation’s largest retailer:

“…will discontinue all sales of handgun ammunition and sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style weapons, following two ‘horrific’ shootings at Walmart stores this summer.

“It will also stop all handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from the handguns category.

“The biggest retailer in the world also is asking customers at Walmart and Sam’s Club to no longer openly carry firearms in stores, in states where ‘open carry’ is allowed, unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”

The news really isn’t surprising. After all, as the aforementioned article also notes, Walmart discontinued its sale of handguns in the U.S. way back in the 1990’s (with the exception of Alaska). The retailer stopped selling AR-15’s back in 2015— claiming sluggish sales as the reason. Following the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, they raised their age restriction from 18 to 21 for gun purchases.

As you can imagine, social media is a buzz in response to the news of Walmart’s newest policy shifts. Whether it’s people calling for boycotts or suggesting that phone calls be made to voice opposition to company leadership, there’s a number of folks voicing their displeasure. Yet, I’m guessing Walmart’s bottom line probably won’t suffer too much in the long run. Even staunch 2nd Amendment supporters are likely going to still find themselves standing in those frustrating checkout lines.

What all of this amounts to is Walmart trying to do “something”. Does any thinking person think these changes are going to amount to a spit of difference? Well, apparently folks like Bernie Sanders, David Hogg, Piers Morgan, and others seem to think so. (Remember, I did say “thinking” people.)

How many people in the United States responded to the news by giving up on ever buying another one of those guns or boxes of ammunition? I’m guessing the number is somewhere around zero. Quite simply, there’s other places to buy those types of guns and ammunition. And those businesses are probably a bit happier today than they were yesterday. For them, Walmart’s loss is their gain. Their bottom lines will undoubtedly increase.


Let’s be honest. The idea that this changes much of anything to quell mass shootings is ridiculous. Not only can guns and ammunition be had elsewhere, but don’t forget that Walmart will still be selling the larger calibers. Perhaps there’s some truth to former NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch Tweeting yesterday that this is virtue signaling.

When it comes to the change in regards to open carry in their stores, it’s basically meaningless. While I personally think open carry in a Walmart is poor practice, the decision to prohibit it does nothing to stop mass shootings. One thing that should be noted amongst all of this is the fact that while open carry will be a no-no going forward, concealed carry will apparently still be allowed— as well it should be.

As a private business, Walmart is free to set whatever policies they want in regards to these things. I absolutely support their right to do so. And while the changes might placate to a certain segment of their customer base, it will ultimately prove to do nothing in terms of stopping mass shootings.

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Sources:

1. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/03/walmart-plans-to-dramatically-step-back-from-gun-sales-after-horrific-shootings.html

2. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-wal-mart-stores-rifles/wal-mart-to-stop-selling-ar-15-other-semi-automatic-rifles-idUSKCN0QV26520150827

3. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/28/walmart-says-it-will-raise-age-restriction-to-21-for-gun-purchases-remove-items-resembling-assault-style-weapons-from-website.html

4. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/tomi-lahren-slams-walmart-gun-sales-policy-195604516.html

5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/03/status-quo-is-unacceptable-walmart-will-stop-selling-some-ammunition-exit-handgun-market/

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About T. Arthur Mason 671 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.