Washington - Walmart will stop selling handguns and certain types of ammunition, and will no longer allow customers to openly carry firearms, after separate shootings at company stores last month left at least 24 people dead.
"It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable," chief executive Doug McMillon said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. "We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand."
The world's largest retailer says it will stop selling ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles - including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber cartridges, which can be used in military-style weapons - once it sells through its current stock. Those changes are likely to lower the company's market share of ammunition sales from about 20 percent to as little as 6 percent, the company said.
"The basic principle here is that if we don't sell the gun, we are no longer going to sell the ammunition," Dan Barlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs, said in a call with reporters on Tuesday. He did not offer details on how the changes might impact the company's financial performance.
Walmart, which sells guns in about half of its 4,750 U.S. stores, will continue selling long-barrel deer rifles and shot guns, as well as well as other firearms and ammunition for hunting and sports shooting, McMillon said. It will also continue to allow customers to carry concealed firearms at Walmart and Sam's Club store, as long as they have proper permits.