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NRA slams Walmart's 'shameful' change to gun policies

The Hill logo The Hill 9/3/2019 Rachel Frazin
NRA slams Walmart's 'shameful' change to gun policies © The Hill NRA slams Walmart's 'shameful' change to gun policies

The National Rifle Association (NRA) in a Tuesday statement slammed Walmart's changes to its gun policies as "shameful" after a mass shooting last month in one of its stores.

"It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America's fundamental freedoms," the statement said.

"The truth is Walmart's actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans," the NRA added. "Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty."

The statement follows a decision by Walmart to end handgun sales, discontinue sales on certain types types of ammunition and ask customers to not openly carrying firearms.

"We've also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer," wrote Walmart Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon in a letter to associates. "It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable."

The company will no longer sell short-barrel rifle ammunition, including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber. It will also sell through the remaining inventory of handgun ammunition and discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, the last state where it has continued to sell handguns.

The policy change and the NRA's response to it follow a shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in August that left 22 people dead. Following that incident, activists and others, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), called upon the retailer to stop selling firearms.

Walmart stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015 and raised the age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 in 2018.

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