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Walmart has removed guns and ammunition from sales floors because of isolated incidents of “civil unrest” in some areas around the U.S. — but the retail giant said it will continue selling them.
The move comes as Philadelphia has seen days of looting and violent demonstrations on the heels of Monday’s fatal shooting by police of Walter Wallace Jr. Police said the 27-year-old Black man had refused repeated orders to drop a knife.
The action echoes an identical one in June, when Walmart pulled firearms and ammo from sales floors following demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis during an arrest related to an alleged counterfeit bill.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” Walmart said in a statement.
“These items do remain available for purchase by customers,” the retail giant said.
Walmart said it sells firearms in about half its stores, “primarily where there are large concentrations of hunters, sportsmen, and sportswomen.”
Walmart operates 4,752 stores under the Walmart name in the United States, along with 599 Sam’s Club locations.
Its share price was down fractionally in Friday’s premarket.
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