Walmart said recently that it will stop selling semiautomatic rifles, including AR-15s, in what the retail giant says is a decision related to slumping demand — not politics.
In a June 23 interview with CNNMoney (see video at bottom), Walmart CEO Douglas McMillon had indicated he might do this.
“Our focus in terms of firearms should be hunters and people who shoot sporting clays, and things like that,” said McMillon in June. “So the types of rifles we sell, the types of ammunition we sell, should be curated for those things.” When asked if he would discontinue sales of semiautomatic long guns, McMillon said, “Yes.” He added, “We want to serve people who hunt and fish and we want to have a great sporting goods department.” Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg told Bloomberg Business, “If you have a product customers aren’t buying, you phase it out,” he said. Shoppers “were buying shotguns and rifles, and so we are increasing assortment in that.” AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles were being sold at less than a third of the company’s 4,600 U.S. stores. Lundberg said the decision by Walmart Stores Inc. was not political, and the Bentonville, Arkansas–based retailer would sell down its remaining AR inventory to zero as stores transition from summer to fall merchandise.
The store’s assertion that it is making the change because of business reasons has some credence, because the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently found for the retailer in an AR-15 related court case, Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart. The court’s unanimous opinion rejected the anti-gun activist church’s efforts to stop Walmart from selling semiauto rifles.
Despite that loss in court, the church is now praising Walmart’s decision to stop selling ARs: “Trinity Church is very pleased to hear that Wal-Mart will no longer sell the kinds of weapons that have caused such devastation and loss in communities across our country,” Rev. William Lupfer, the church’s rector, said in a statement.
To read more about Walmart’s decision, click the links below:
- Wal-Mart to Stop Selling Military-Style Guns After Demand Drops
- Wal-Mart To End Sales Of Some Semi-Automatic Rifles, Citing Low Demand
- Wal-Mart to stop selling AR-15, other semi-automatic rifles
Do you believe that Walmart’s decision is simply business related? Let us hear your thoughts on the issue below: