Is it just me or does anyone else feel like we really are approaching a major tipping point?
Walmart says it has removed ammunition and firearms from displays at its U.S. stores, citing ‘civil unrest’ in some areas.
The nation’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, sells firearms in about half of its 4,700 stores. The move comes days before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3, with many worried that the result could be contested or spark violence.
‘We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,’ Walmart said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
The discounter said the items remain available for purchase by customers. The company does not have a date for when it will place the guns and ammunition back on the shelves, a spokesman added.+4
Walmart says it has removed ammunition and firearms from displays at U.S. stores, citing ‘civil unrest’ in some areas. The nation’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, sell firearms in about half of its 4,700 store (stock image)+4
‘We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,’ Walmart said in a statement (stock image)
The move comes after several days of protests, widespread vandalism and an overnight curfew in Philadelphia before Election Day after police fatally shot a black man with a history of mental health problems.
Walmart made a a similar move in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd that set off sometimes violent demonstrations against police brutality and injustice against African Americans.
Last year, Walmart stopped selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition while requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it. The company then also ended the sale of handguns in Alaska, the only state where the discounter had sold them.
Retailers have been on edge after raiders earlier this year smashed windows, stole merchandise and, at times, set stores ablaze in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Portland and other U.S. cities.
In an another trend that has fed concern, gun sales in the United States this year have reached record highs, and more first-time buyers have purchased firearms recent months.
Federal and state law enforcement officials have already begun expanded preparations for the possibility of widespread unrest at the polls on Election Day, a response to extraordinarily high tensions among voters and anxieties about safety stoked in part by President Donald Trump.
Texas is said to be preparing to send in 1,000 troops to five major cities across the state ‘to deter any civil disturbance’ post-election while stores in Washington DC begin to board up their windows Monday.
It was reported last week that FBI and local officials in several states have been conducting drills, running through worse-case scenarios and setting up command centers to improve coordination on reports of violence and voter intimidation ahead of the vote.