Walmart said Monday that it will not stop selling firearms or change its open carry policies, even as advocacy groups and workers voiced concerns about shootings at two of its stores that killed 24 people in the past week.
"There has been no change in company policy," spokesman Randy Hargrove said in an interview. "With this incident just having happened over the weekend, our focus has been on supporting associates, customers and the El Paso community."
A man with an assault rifle opened fire Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people and injuring more than two dozen others. Two more people died Monday, authorities said. Days earlier, a Walmart employee in Southaven, Miss., fatally shot two co-workers.
"The entire Walmart community is heartbroken," chief executive Doug McMillon wrote on Instagram in response to the shootings. "I can't believe I'm sending a note like this twice in one week."
The retail giant sells guns in about half of its 4,750 U.S. stores, making it one of the nation's largest sellers of firearms and ammunition. It requires store employees to undergo active-shooter training every three months and allows shoppers to carry firearms openly in cities and states where it is legal.
Walmart, which has been selling guns for decades, has gradually tightened its gun policies in recent years. It stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015 and said it would focus instead on firearms for hunting and sports. Last year, it raised the minimum age for gun and ammunition purchases from 18 to 21, two weeks after a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., left 17 students and teachers dead.
Business on 08/06/2019
Print Headline: Walmart says it won't call a halt to gun sales