Mega-retailer Walmart announced on Wednesday that it would no longer sell guns and ammunition to anyone under the age of 21 – this just hours after Dick’s Sporting Goods announced a similar policy in the wake of last week’s Parkland, Florida school shooting.
The company said it felt an ‘obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms’ and ‘go beyond’ federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing a gun.
In a statement, Walmart said that it will continue to adhere to a policy in place since 2015 of banning the sale of 'modern sporting rifles' like the AR-15 - the semi-automatic weapon used by the gunman in the Parkland shooting as well as other incidents.
'We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys,' Walmart said.
Mega-retailer Walmart announced on Wednesday that it would no longer sell guns and ammunition to anyone under the age of 21
'Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.'
Earlier on Wednesday, Dick's Sporting Goods announced it would immediately end sales of assault-style rifles in its stores and won't sell guns to anyone under 21 years old.
In an open letter released on its website on Wednesday, the chain's CEO Edward Stack said it was time for the country to do more to end violence.
He acknowledged the Parkland massacre at which 17 people were killed and credited the student protesters who have been calling for gun reform ever since, saying: 'We heard you.
'The nation heard you.'
Gunman Nikolas Cruz bought one of his weapons at a Dick's. It was not the AR-15 he used in the killings but Stack said he should not have been able to purchase any weapons in the first place.
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Dick's Sporting Goods announced on Wednesday that it would no longer sell guns to anyone under 21 and that it had removed assault rifles from all its stores and its 35 Field & Stream stores
Chairman and CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods tells @GStephanopoulos why the company has decided to no longer sell assault style rifles or firearms to anyone under 21 years of age, and no longer sell high capacity magazines. pic.twitter.com/xiuMfqIZLd— Good Morning America (@GMA)
Chairman and CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods tells @GStephanopoulos why the company has decided to no longer sell assault style rifles or firearms to anyone under 21 years of age, and no longer sell high capacity magazines. pic.twitter.com/xiuMfqIZLd— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 28, 2018
'Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been.
'Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.
'We believe it’s time to do something about it
'We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.
'We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.'
The store will also stop selling high capacity magazines and is calling on congress to ban assault rifles all together.
Later, Stack appeared on Good Morning America to explain the decision.
Stack says that the gunman, Nickolas Cruz, had purchased a gun at a Dick's store, but not the one used