In the wake of recent mass shootings, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has announced changes to the company's policies concerning the sale of certain guns and ammunition, and is asking customers not to openly carry inside Walmart stores.

In an email sent to employees Tuesday and later posted to Walmart's online news room, McMillon cited the 22 people killed during a shooting at an El Paso Walmart last month, as well as two Walmart employees fatally shot by another employee in Southaven, Mississippi, as recent examples of why the company is making the changes.

"In Southaven and El Paso, our associates responded to anger and hate with courage and self-sacrifice," McMillon wrote. "Our immediate priorities were supporting our associates and the impacted families and cooperating with law enforcement. In parallel, we have been focused on store safety and security. 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. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable."

McMillon's email lists three major changes to its policies.

  1. After selling their current inventory of short-barrel rifle ammo such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber, the company will no longer sell these items because, McMillon wrote, they can be used in large capacity clips on military style weapons.
  2. After selling their current inventory, the company will no longer sell any handgun ammunition.
  3. The company will stop selling handguns in Alaska, which is the only state in which Walmart sells them.

McMillion wrote that the company will continue to sell long barrel deer rifles and shotguns, as well as ammo, accessories, and apparel required by hunters.

Further along in the statement, McMillon requests that customers no longer openly carry firearms in Walmart stores, even in states where open carry is permitted.

"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," Mc Millon wrote. "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."

There will be no change to Walmart's policy allowing concealed carry by customers with permits.

McMillon went on to say that the company will be sharing "exploring ways to share the technical specifications and compliance controls for our proprietary firearms sales technology platform" with other retailers. McMillon also plans to send letters to Congress and the White House calling for action on what he called common sense measures such as debating the authorization of the Assault Weapons Ban and research into the root causes of violent behavior.

"We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we’re going to continue doing so," McMillon wrote. "We want what’s best for our customers, our associates and our communities. In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable."

What do you think about the changes Walmart is making? Will this do anything to curb gun violence? If so, what makes you think it will? If not, why? Let us know what you think.

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