On Tuesday Walmart CEO Doug McMillion released a letter to his employees notifying them of the following company policy changes:
- After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons;
- We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and
- We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.
The shift in company policy is a response to the horrible violence that occurred after a white supremacist opened fire in an El Paso Walmart last month taking 22 innocent lives.
Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence is encouraged by McMillion’s decision to discontinue the sale of handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition which are compatible with military-style assault weapons and ban open carry in their stores. These policies follow the company’s already existing commitment to stop selling military style assault weapons such as the AR-15. It seems that corporate America has begun to realize that the devastation of gun violence is not worth the profits gained from selling these weapons of mass murder.
We hope that here in Rhode Island, our elected leaders will follow suit. The truth is, we should not need to lean on Walmart or any corporation to make policy. Policymaking is the job of our politicians. It is time that the Rhode Island General Assembly joins Massachusetts and Connecticut and passes an assault weapon ban and high capacity magazine ban.