What is Walmart’s gun policy? The retailer just announced a major change

Following the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14th, Walmart has announced that it will no longer sell firearms or ammunition to anyone under age 21. Under the new Walmart gun policy, the retailer will also remove toys that look like assault-style weapons from its website, including airsoft guns. The company made the announcement February 28th, two weeks into a campaign by Parkland students demanding that lawmakers introduce gun control legislation.

While Congress has made little progress on that front, corporate America has begun to respond. Earlier today, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it will stop selling assault-style rifles like the one used in the Parkland shooting — the AR-15 — as well as high-capacity magazines. And as of right now, at least 13 companies have cut ties with the NRA, including Delta Airlines, refusing to offer discounts to the organization’s members and boycotting it in other ways.

But the Walmart gun policy change is particularly huge news.

Since Walmart is one of the largest gun retailers in the country (some say it’s the largest), the move could affect its bottom line, but the company seems moved by the Parkland shooting.

Said Walmart in a statement:

"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."

Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015, and it says it doesn’t sell bump stocks (the accessory used to make the Las Vegas shooter’s guns even more deadly) or high-capacity magazines.

Last week, Donald Trump said he favored a bump stock ban and announced today that he would ban the accessory through an executive order. It’s a start, but Congress and corporate America need to do a lot more if we’re ever going to put an end to gun violence.

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