Citing “civil unrest,” Walmart has taken all guns and ammunition from its sales floors in the United States this week.
Firearms and ammunition will still be sold during this period. However, the displays will not be available and the products will be available upon customer request.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news that Walmart would be removing gun displays. The Bentonville retailer is reportedly looking to head off potential break-ins and thefts that may occur in the coming week.
“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. These items do remain available for purchase by customers,” a Walmart spokesman has told multiple media outlets.
According to its corporate website, Walmart operates 4,753 U.S. stores with firearms being sold at approximately half of the stores.
Walmart has previously removed guns from display. Most recently, the retailer took guns and ammunition off the sales floor following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which triggered widespread demonstrations.
Over time, Walmart has increasingly restricted its gun and ammunition sales, ending handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition sales in 2019. The company ended the sale of “modern sporting rifles,” including AR-15s, in 2015 and stopped selling handguns in all stores, except in Alaska, in the 1990s.