Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, in a Sept 3. statement, just took a gigantic dump on gun owners and open carriers. Walmart will stop selling 5.56mm/.223 ammo (because it can be used in “large capacity clips on military-style weapons” and will no longer sell “handgun” ammo (does this include .22LR?). Walmart feels this will help make the country safer as “the status quo is unacceptable.”
The statement makes no mention of what Walmart will be doing to make its stores safer. McMillon brags that:
We’ve previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.
Even worse, Walmart swerves out of its lane (as a business) to call for stricter gun control.
we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. [...] We believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness.
Walmart getting (partially) out of the ammo business is great for local retailers who do stock and sell ammo. Price gouging on Armslist is going to be a lot harder.
5.56 ammo will not be sold because it is for “short-barrel rifles” or some such nonsense. In other words, they are not selling 5.56 because, in their opinion, it is for the evil black rifle the AR-15 and not hunting rifles. Walmart backed out of selling AR-15s several years ago to move to a hunting-centered firearms line.
The much higher muzzle energy and velocity cartridges with better penetration such as .308 will continue to be sold. These hunting rounds are specifically designed to expand in their targets and create incapacitating wounds; in other words, the rounds Walmart is keeping tend to be more powerful and more deadly. McMillon really should have talked to a hillbilly in Arkansas before he approved this statement.
Walmart admitted that firearms were not a major part of its business and sales of guns and ammo have been poor. The current media created hype against firearms provides them with a convenient excuse to leave a segment of a market where they cannot effectively compete. This will be a loss of another place where ammo can be purchased for cash and harms Californians who don’t have many options to buy ammo.
As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.
He correctly blames "individuals attempting to make a statement" (inconsiderate attention seekers), such as the Missouri man who openly carried an AR pistol and tactical vest. Open Carry Texas carried long guns until the open carry of handguns by permit was decriminalized in that state. These bad publicity incidents are why Walmart is “requesting” open carriers stay out or cover up their guns.
Covering up guns in order not to scare people is equivalent to telling women to “cover up” because exposed skin will tempt men to rape them. Open carriers are not a problem; assholes who tote rifles where they have no business being are the problem and McMillon and his idiotic staff is too dumb to ask people not to bring their rifles to the store.
Tellingly, McMillon blames the concealed carrier who rightly drew down on and held the AR pistol clown at gunpoint for police for scaring people. I guess he should have waited until the guy started shooting to do something? I have not seen any compelling evidence that an openly carried handgun has caused any mass fright in a Walmart.
Banning open carry won’t keep many from going disarmed at Walmart, but it is a slap in the face to the Second Amendment and clearly is part of shaming gun owners. By asking open carriers to stay away or cover up and posting signs, along with all the other virtue signalling, McMillon and Walmart are blaming guns. Yes, blame the skirt for the rape too. If it wouldn’t totally alienate the customer base, I bet they would ban guns entirely from Walmarts.
Walmart is only “requesting” that customers not open carry, but is posting signs. In Texas, these signs (30.07) will likely have the force of law. In Nevada, as in many states, signs and statements like this have no force of law. A manager, security guard, or other person authorized to trespass individuals from stores (not the greeter) must tell you to leave for open carry to become the crime of trespassing.
A request is not a demand. It may be an outright ban, but we need to wait and see how Walmart plays it. If individual stores and employees just don’t care, then it will have no more teeth than the “requests” from Target and Starbucks earlier this decade. Target does not seem to actively enforce their anti-open carry “request.” Not once in Nevada have I been asked to leave a Target for openly carrying a handgun.
What is a “non-confrontational” policy? A polite request not to openly carry or to cover up can be ignored. I will simply say “No” and go about my business. If they demand I conceal or leave the store, then I will leave the store, leaving the car where it is, and not come back. However, I rather think “non-confrontational” means ask nicely, then call the police. In truth, after by the new year local employees will stop caring (as if openly carried handguns are really noticed anyhow).
Banning open carry sends a mixed message that guns are okay, but only if you hide them. For decades, concealed carry was traditionally regarded as the province of criminals. Men with nothing to hide openly carried their guns. Open carry is low-hanging fruit. If citizens tolerate this, there will be nothing to stop Walmart from banning concealed carry eventually.
Walmart is not a safe place and not because of the El Paso shooting. Because of the low prices, criminals and the kind of violent, unstable scum that tend to be poor are at Walmart. Shit goes down at Walmart and we know where the “two gun” Walmarts are. “Stab-Mart” just outside of Nellis was closed down, but totally not because of the crime or anything… Discouraging people from carrying and shitting on gun owners is not going to make the world, or Walmart, a better place.
Walmart’s disavowal of open carriers is a tone-deaf response solely for the benefit of the public relations of one of the retailers and companies Americans love to hate. It is corporate virtue signalling and not any sort of meaningful improvement to violence in America. This latest move is nothing but the actions of an ignorant, out-of-touch corporate board that is trapped in the Leftist news cycle bound to turn employees and customers against the beast from Bentonville.
Walmart does not regularly employ armed security that can respond to a mass shooter or any other of the countless incidents of everyday criminal violence that occur at their stores everyday. Under strict liability, businesses are held responsible for creating or allowing hazardous conditions. Businesses that discourage or prohibit carry of firearms should be held liable for injuries when it can be shown an armed citizen could have protected themselves.
Armed citizens rushing to the defense of other shoppers in Walmart happens. Once such (unsuccessful, sadly) attempt was here in Las Vegas in 2014 when Joseph Wilcox, a concealed carrier, drew his pistol and prepared to counter-attack the assassins of two Metro officers. Frankly, if there was shooting I’d be inclined to not be a hero and let Walmart reap what they’ve sewn.
Walmart is does this at the cost of alienating itself from its core clientele to virtue signal. Shopping at Walmart is unavoidable for a lot of us. It’s cheap. Most shoppers don’t care about buying guns or carrying one, just low prices. The store knows that many of us, especially those in very rural places, have no other effective choice, so a boycott won’t work. But remember Walmart; when the eventual war with China comes you’ll be out of business.
Late addition: Kroger has also asked that people don’t openly carry. Or rather their corporate weenies put out a statement. “Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers.”
My suggestion: open carry anyway. If anyone from the store says anything, just cover up. Even better, get a gun sock or something that makes it clear it’s a firearm but is technically concealed. Make them live up to their own rules. If they ask, say no. If they demand, then comply.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West