Gun control groups on Tuesday praised Walmart after the company announced it would no longer sell certain firearm ammunition and would reduce its gun sales, but the applause came with the awareness that small steps by corporations won’t stop gun violence and that lawmakers must take action to stop the epidemic.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon made the announcement the company will no longer sell ammunition for military-style semi-automatic weapons, commonly called assault weapons just days after a gunman killed seven people in Odessa, Texas and a month after 22 people were killed in another mass shooting at one of Walmart’s own stores in El Paso, Texas.
The shooters in both attacks were armed with assault weapons. Walmart is also ending sales of handgun ammunition “after selling through our current inventory commitments,” McMillon said in a statement, and will stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it currently sells the weapons.
Walmart has “been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer,” McMillon said. “It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.”
The gun control group Giffords, headed by shooting survivor and former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, was among those that offered praise.
“Thank you for focusing on both guns and ammunition,” tweeted Fred Guttenberg, the father of a student who was killed in a school shooting last year in Parkland, Florida. “America is safer today because of this.”
But other critics were hesitant to overstate the difference Walmart’s move would make in the safety of American communities, if the U.S. Senate fails to pass bold gun control legislation.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT