We are four days away from the 2020 presidential election and tensions amongst U.S. citizens are seemingly higher than ever. As a result of the tensions and in response to the protests taking place over the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., Walmart announced Thursday that they would be removing all guns and ammunition from the sales floors of its U.S. stores to ensure the safety of shoppers and associates should there be incidents of civil unrest following the conclusion of this year’s tumultuous election.
“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,” a Walmart spokesman said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.
Breaking: Walmart removed all guns and ammunition from displays in its U.S. stores, aiming to head off any potential theft of firearms if the stores are broken into amid social unrest https://t.co/97AeFXmVLX
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 29, 2020
Although the firearms and ammunition are no longer on display in Walmart stores, the products are still available for purchase.
This isn’t the first time Walmart has taken this precaution. In June, Walmart removed guns and ammunition from select store floors after George Floyd was killed by police and protests took place across the country. Several Walmart locations were looted and Walmart removed the weapons as a precautionary measure.
The U.S. has also seen a massive spike in firearm sales in the past year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates there were a record 12.1 million background checks for gun purchases from January through July — a 72% increase in the number of background checks performed during the same period last year.
Despite pressure to stop selling guns and ammunition altogether, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has instead said that Walmart’s guns and ammunition selection will focus on hunting and sport shooting.