Last Thursday, August 22, 2019, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion said that the company supports certain gun control measures after 20 people were killed during a shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas,
Although the CEO did not endorse any specific form of legislation, he said that Walmart is “encouraged” by the consensus that’s growing around “common sense” gun control measures.
In a statement on Thursday, McMillion said “We’re encouraged that broad support is emerging to strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. We believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness in keeping weapons made for war out of the hands of mass murderers.”
As America’s largest retailer, McMillon claims that Walmart accounts for 2 percent of the gun market today. According to the company, it is not among the top three gun vendors in the industry. Additionally, it estimates that it has a 20 percent share of ammunition.
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Walmart is considering further steps to reform its gun policies. On a call with reporters on Thursday, Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president of corporate affairs and an aide during George W. Bush’s administration, said that the company would provide its “perspective and support” to Congress as a company that has stopped selling so-called “assault weapons.”
Bartlett stated “We believe it’s a worthy debate for Congress to have” when discussing the potential of an assault weapons ban.
The retailer has encountered ongoing pressure from legislators to remove firearms off of its shelves. The American Federation of Teachers and other gun safety groups have called for the company to end gun sales.
Although it has a history of selling hunting weapons, Walmart has enacted anti-gun policies such as raising the purchasing age to 21 in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting.
McMillon said in a statement, “We’ve attempted to take common sense steps that allow us to serve customers and create a safer environment.”