Walmart Says it Will Limit Gun Sales, Raises Age Restriction
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Walmart said on Wednesday it will raise the age restriction for the purchase of firearms and ammunition.
The corporation said in a statement it will raise the age to 21, and that it “will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.”
Walmart’s announcement comes on the heels of an announcement made the same day by Dick’s Sporting Goods, which also is raising the age restriction to 21 and said it will stop carrying certain assault-type rifles.
The changes come in the midst of a national debate about guns, which have been reaching a fever pitch after a mass shooting on Feb. 14 at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump surprised fellow republicans when he called for speedy and substantial changes to the nation’s gun laws, according to a report by the Associated Press, and criticized lawmakers in a White House meeting for being too fearful of the National Rifle Association to take action.
Walmart said it stopped selling “modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15” and handguns in 2015, except in Alaska where its stores continue to sell handguns. It said it also does not sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.
In the news release issued Wednesday, the company further said it is “removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys. Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.”
According to the AP, Dick's stock price was little changed as of midafternoon Wednesday, up 1.7 percent. It’s still early to tell what effect Walmart’s announcement will have on the corporate retail giant, but the company stressed its stance, saying:
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. The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.