Walmart, the nation's largest seller of guns and ammo, said it will stop selling AR-15-style modern sporting rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and some other firearms this fall for business reasons.
“We previously carried modern sporting rifles in less than a third of
our stores,” Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg told Forbes. “Our
merchandising decisions are driven largely by customer demand. In our
everyday course of doing business, we are continually reviewing and
adjusting our product assortment to meet our customers' needs.”
Thought the news coincided with intense media coverage of Wednesday's fatal shooting of a TV news reporter and cameraman by a disgruntled former co-worker, Walmart insisted the decision was based on business reasons.
“This happens to get more attention because of what the product is,” Lundberg told Quartz.com. “The decision was completely based on what customers are buying and what they want.”
Walmart was already in the process of phasing out high-powered firearms like AR-15 and modern sporting rifles, and they'll discontinue stocking modular sniper rifles in the coming weeks. The retailer had already stopped selling handguns and high-capacity magazines.