Walmart returns guns to sales floor, reversing decision related to election unrest

Charisse Jones, USA TODAY 7 mins ago Walmart returns guns to sales floor, reversing decision related to election unrest A day after saying it had moved firearms and ammunition off the sales floor "as a precaution," Walmart reversed course, saying it will make those items visible again Friday. 

"After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores ... we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution,'' the retailer said in a statement. "As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”

© Alan Diaz, AP Walmart sells guns in about half of its 4,700 stores.


The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Walmart moved the merchandise to ward off the stealing of firearms if stores were broken into amid potential unrest sparked by the presidential election. The nation's largest retailer said it took similar action in recent years to maintain the safety of its employees and customers. 

Walmart sells firearms in roughly half of its 4,700 stores. A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll found Americans are increasingly worried about whether voting will be peaceful and whether the election's outcome will be broadly accepted after a tumultuous campaign season finally comes to an end. Three of 4 voters express concern about the possibility of violence on Election Day. One in 4 say they are "very confident" that the USA will have a peaceful transfer of power if Democratic challenger Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump.  Walmart has taken steps to curtail the sale of ammunition and guns over the years. In the early 1990s, the retailer stopped selling handguns except in Alaska. In 2015, it halted sales of modern sporting rifles, and in 2018, Walmart banned sales of firearms to anyone under 21. Fears of social unrest and expectations that a Democratic sweep of the White House and Congress could lead to stricter gun laws have caused gunmaker stock prices to spike. 

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