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Ex-Walmart Exec On New Gun, Ammo Policies: Retailer 'Had To Take Some Sort Of Action'

Ex-Walmart Exec On New Gun, Ammo Policies: Retailer 'Had To Take Some Sort Of Action'

Retail behemoth Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) said Tuesday it will no longer sell certain types of ammunition that are mostly used in assault weapons. The company is requesting that clients no longer openly carry firearms inside its stores in states where open carry is legal.

Ex-Walmart US CEO: Retailer 'Had To Take Some Sort Of Action'

Walmart's ex-U.S. CEO Bill Simon told CNBC Tuesday that the company needs to take "some sort of action" after one of its stores in Texas was the site of a deadly shooting. At the same time, it is "unreasonable" for the Arkansas-based retailer to solve a problem that politicians in Washington "should solve" on their own, he said. 

Demand for ammunition and guns are unlikely to fall as a result of Walmart's ban, as there are "plenty of places" consumers can shop at instead, Simon said.

Nevertheless, Walmart's executive team "had to take some sort of action," but whether this will have any impact on gun violence is "difficult to say," he said. 

NRA: 'Shameful' Move

The National Rifle Association said in a statement posted to its Twitter account that it is "shameful" to see Walmart cave in to the "pressure of the anti-gun elites."

The gun rights advocacy group said the "strongest defense of freedom has always been our free market economy."

The NRA said it hopes gun owners will now replace Walmart with other retailers "who are more supportive of America's fundamental freedoms."

"Walmart has chosen to victimize law abiding Americans," the statement also read. "Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty."

Kroger Sides With Walmart

Grocery chain Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) issued a similar gun policy as Walmart and is discouraging shoppers from openly carrying guns in stores.

The company also said in a statement sent to CNBC that it hopes elected leaders "pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence.

"Kroger has demonstrated with our actions that we recognize the growing chorus of Americans who are no longer comfortable with the status quo and who are advocating for concrete and common sense gun reforms," the statement said. 

Walmart shares were up 0.63% at $115.36 at the time of publication Wednesday, while Kroger shares were higher by 0.92% at $24.23. 

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Photo courtesy of Walmart. 

Posted-In: CNBC NRANews Politics Media General Best of Benzinga


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