Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has often been on the middle of the controversy over gun violence.
Though the chain sells weapons at its shops all through the US, Walmart has imposed more and more strict restrictions on firearm gross sales as mass shootings have continued within the nation. In recent times, it stopped promoting handguns and sure rifles, together with AR-15s, and raised the minimal age to buy firearms to 21.
After 23 individuals have been killed by a gunman in a Walmart retailer in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019, the corporate publicly urged Congress and then-President Donald Trump to strengthen background checks and renew the controversy over an assault rifle ban.
“As we’ve seen earlier than, these horrific occasions happen after which the highlight fades,” Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, mentioned in a press release on the time. “We should always not enable that to occur. Congress and the administration ought to act.”
Walmart has additionally taken extra steps, corresponding to ceasing the sale of ammunition that may very well be utilized in military-style weapons and discouraging individuals from brazenly carrying weapons into its shops, a coverage it introduced in 2019.
In that announcement, McMillon cited “a number of incidents since El Paso, the place people trying to make a press release and take a look at our response have entered our shops carrying weapons in a approach that frightened or involved our associates and prospects.”
By the character of its measurement and geographic attain — it has greater than 4,000 shops unfold throughout the US — Walmart is usually the location of crimes, a few of them violent. Throughout the pandemic, some retailers and their workers have mentioned that violence has elevated in all kinds of shops.
Walmart has mentioned it has taken steps to bolster safety in some shops, corresponding to putting in cameras in parking tons and hiring off-duty law enforcement officials throughout busy procuring days.
This text initially appeared in The New York Occasions.