Walmart to raise age to purchase guns, ammo to 21 after Florida shooting
Feb 28, 2018, 4:55 PM
Another corporate giant has announced an update to its firearms policy in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that left 17 students and teachers dead.
Walmart announced Wednesday that it would raise the age requirement to purchase firearms and ammunition in its stores to 21.
The company said in a press release that it would “update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.”
The move comes on the same day that Dick’s Sporting Goods, another retail giant, announced that it would immediately end sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines at all of its stores and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.
Walmart stopped selling assault-style rifles, such as the AR-15, in its stores in 2015 and only sells handguns in Alaska, where “we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers.”
The company also does not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories.
“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 release read.
“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.”
Walmart said it will also remove items from its website that resemble assault-style rifles, such as 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.
Other stores announce assault-style weapons ban
Dick’s, a major gun retailer, had cut off sales of assault-style weapons at Dick’s stores following the Sandy Hook school shooting. But Dick’s owns dozens of its Field & Stream stores, where there has been no such ban in place.
In a letter released Wednesday, Chairman and CEO Edward Stack wrote, “We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens.
“But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids.”
Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people in Florida, mostly students, had purchased a shotgun at a Dick’s store in November 2017, Stack said.
The gun issue has embroiled a number of companies since the Parkland shooting, from Delta Airlines to FedEx. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is based just outside of Pittsburgh in a state where the first day of deer hunting season is an unofficial holiday for many families.
On the other side of the state Wednesday, a religious group plans to host a blessing ceremony for couples with AR-15 rifles.
The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, north of Philadelphia, believes that the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the biblical book of Revelation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.