EDDYSTONE, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.
The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store.
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke released a statement Tuesday on Walmart’s decision.
“I commend Walmart for its decision to stop selling handgun ammunition as well as short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used in large-capacity clips on semi-automatic weapons,” Council President Clarke said today.
“There is far too much gun violence in our cities and towns, including here in Philadelphia, where eight more people were shot and two more were killed just last weekend,” Clarke said. “Given our own ongoing working relationship with Walmart, I know the company takes its role as a corporate citizen seriously. I support their announcement today. As their CEO said in a statement to their employees, the status quo is unacceptable.”
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter said Tuesday it will stop selling handgun ammunition as well as short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used in military style weapons, after it runs out of its current inventory.
Rose Corcoran was shopping at the Walmart in Eddystone when she learned of the changes.
“My father committed suicide and he got a gun for $50 off a Widener college kid,” she said.
Corcoran applauds the change but fears ammo will remain easily accessible elsewhere.
“They really do need to stop selling that in all stores, period,” Eddystone resident Rachel Demby said.
The retailer is further requesting that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms at its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores unless they are law enforcement officers. However, it said that it won’t be changing its policy for customers who have permits for concealed carry. Walmart says it will be adding signage in stores to inform customers of those changes.
Philadelphia city council at large candidate Maj Toure sees Walmart’s decision as an overstep.
“Now not only are they saying they aren’t going to sell handgun ammunition — that’s fine that’s their choice — but now you’re saying that you want to ignore the rules of whatever city or state and you’re going to ask your customers to not have their firearms on them in the store,” Toure said.
CBS3′ Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report.
(©Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)