Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will discontinue sales of handgun ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.
The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store in El Paso.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter said Tuesday it will stop selling short-barrel and handgun ammunition, including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used in military style weapons, after it runs out of its current inventory. It will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from handguns and allowing it to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only.
Firearms and Ammunition Guidelines
Walmart has a long heritage as a company of serving hunters and sportsmen and women. Our focus has always been to do so responsibly, including taking many measures that go beyond what’s required by law.
Where We Sell Firearms and Ammunition
Walmart sells firearms in approximately half of our U.S. supercenter stores. While we are not the largest volume firearms seller in the United States, we do serve many areas of the country where there is a concentration of hunters and sportsmen/women.
Items We Sell
Walmart sells long guns for hunting and sport shooting, including shotguns, single-shot hunting rifles and light sporting rifles, as well as BB and pellet guns.
Items We Don’t Sell
Walmart does not sell military-style rifles, such as the AR-15, or any type of AR-15 accessory, including bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. These items are also listed on our prohibited items list for online marketplace sellers. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and help ensure our policies are applied.
As of September 2019, we have discontinued the sale of:
- handguns, which were previously sold only in our Alaska stores
- ammunition for handguns
- ammunition for short-barrel rifles such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large-capacity clips on military-style weapons
- ammunition like the .300 Blackout, 7.62x.39 and .224 Valkyrie
Who Can Buy Firearms and Ammunition at Walmart
In February 2018, we announced our decision to sell firearms and ammunition only to individuals who are 21 and older.
Walmart only sells a firearm after receiving a “green light” on a background check. This goes beyond federal law, which only requires the absence of a “red light” after a three-business day waiting period. We require a “green light,” regardless of the time period.
Selling Firearms Responsibly
Walmart takes steps above and beyond what is required by law to sell firearms in a responsible way, including:
- videotaping the point of sale for firearms;
- allowing only select associates who have passed a criminal background check to sell firearms;
- conducting regular associate training;
- performing inventory audits; and
- securing firearms in a locking case, among other important measures.
Walmart associates who are authorized to sell firearms are specifically trained on all firearm policies and procedures. Associates who fail to follow the policies and procedures are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
Walmart is a charter member of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, organized by Walmart and Everytown for Gun Safety.
We have committed to work alongside other retailers to make the overall industry safer, including sharing our own best practices. This system navigates tens of millions of possible combinations of federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements that come into effect based on where a firearm is sold and who is purchasing. We hope that freely sharing this information will help more retailers sell firearms in a responsible, compliant manner.
Open Carry of Firearms
Motivated by our desire to create a safe environment in our stores and clubs, we request that customers no longer openly carry firearms into Walmart or Sam’s Club locations in states where open carry is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement. As of September 2019, we are working to create and display new signage to help communicate this policy.
We will continue to follow state and local laws regarding concealed carry permit holders.
Last updated: September 3, 2019