Walmart CEO promises 'thoughtful and deliberate' response to shootings amid calls to end gun sales

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote a letter to employees on Wednesday in the wake of two recent deadly shootings at store locations, expressing “shock, anger [and] grief.”

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There have been calls for the world’s largest retailer to stop selling guns in the wake of the incidents – and while Walmart indicated it does not plan to do so, McMillon promised on Wednesday to respond thoughtfully.

“We will be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and we will act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals of our company, with a focus on serving the needs of our customers, associates and communities,” he wrote.

On Monday, the retailer said there would be no change to its policy on gun sales. It currently does not sell assault-style rifles, nor does it sell firearms to individuals under the age of 21.

Walmart is, however, being pressured via social media campaigns and a petition from Guns Down America to completely end gun sales.

A shooting at its El Paso, Texas, location on Saturday resulted in 22 deaths. McMillon said the company’s first concern is “responding to the situation on the ground.”

“As it becomes clearer that the shooting in El Paso was motivated by hate, we are more resolved than ever to foster an inclusive environment where all people are valued and welcomed,” he wrote. “Our store in El Paso is well known as a tight-knit community hub for people in the region, where we serve customers from both sides of the border.”

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In the week prior to the El Paso shooting, a former colleague fatally shot two workers at a store in Southhaven, Mississippi.

Walmart has more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. alone.