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Following unrest and incidences of violence in parts of the country, the company said this week it would remove firearms and ammunition from sales floors as a safety precaution – but has since decided to eliminate that policy across all affected store locations.
“After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution,” the spokesperson said. “As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”
Even when the products were hidden from plain sight, customers were able to make purchases upon request.
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Walmart sells firearms and related accessory products in about half of its 4,700 stores.
Meanwhile, firearm sales have likely been a boon for the retailer this year if background check data is any indication.
The FBI said it conducted nearly 2.9 million background checks in September, bringing the 2020 year-to-date total up to 28.8 million.
Following two fatal shootings at Walmart store locations last year, the company was criticized for selling firearms. In response, it changed its policy to discontinue sales of certain military-style weapons, while asking customers not to openly carry weapons on its premises in states where it would otherwise be permitted.