Walmart raises gun purchase age to 21

Walmart said Wednesday it won’t sell guns and ammunition to customers who are under 21 years old, following a similar move by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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Retailers and gun manufacturers are facing calls from gun-control advocates to impose new limits after a gunman killed 17 people in a Parkland, Florida, high school. Dick’s said it will end the sale of “assault-style rifles” in its stores and stop selling all guns to customers under age 21. Federal law prevents citizens under 18 from buying a rifle. The age restriction for handguns is 21.

Walmart previously stopped offering modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15, in 2015. The nation’s largest retailer also doesn’t sell handguns, except in Alaska. Those sales will continue, Walmart said.

The company said it has a process to ensure that its policies are applied to its e-commerce marketplace, where third parties can sell their products. Walmart is removing items that resemble AR-15 rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys.

“We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” Walmart said. “Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.”

Walmart already doesn’t offer bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. Dick’s, which hasn’t offered bump stocks, said it will stop selling high-capacity magazines.