Walmart Restocks Guns, Ammo in Stores After Short Removal Citing Civil Unrest

A U.S. flag waves over a Walmart parking lot in Oklahoma City on Aug. 4. The company sells firearms in about half of its 4,700 stores in the U.S

Enlarge this image Sue Ogrocki AP Sue Ogrocki AP

Walmart Inc removed firearms and ammunition from USA store floors this week to protect customers and employees as tensions across the country have been rising, the world's largest retailer said on Thursday.

The move is being done as a "precaution" and comes just ahead of Tuesday's presidential election and following recent racial unrest over the police shooting of a 27-year old Black man in Philadelphia.

Walmart announced on Thursday that it would no longer have guns and ammunition on display inside its US stores, citing incidents of civil unrest in major cities across the country following incidents of police brutality.

According to Buzzfeed News, the outlet pointed out that it sells guns and ammo in approximately 50% of its stores across the country.

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CNN reports that gun sales are up in 2020 among first-time buyers, especially among women and African-Americans.

"After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution", Walmart told Business Insider.

Walmart says they're still selling firearms and ammo - assuming stores have any in stock - but the inventory won't be on display.

Since unrest kicked off in the city on Monday night, at least 11 people have been shot in the area around the Walmart store, though it is unclear whether the violence and looting were connected, or to what extent.

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Walmart has recently removed firearms from its shelves, for example during protests against the police assassination of George Floyd or after an increase in mass shootings.

Firearm sales interest has soared this year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation database of firearm background checks, the best available approximation of total gun sales.

Last year, Walmart stopped sales of some types of ammunition that can be used in assault-style weapons, and those used in handguns.

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