After a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 20 people dead and 26 injured, the retailer has announced it has no plans to stop selling guns and ammunition at its stores, wrote The Daily Mail.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Sunday, company spokesman Randy Hargrove explained why the shooting will not affect the company’s gun policies.
“Our focus has always been on being a responsible seller of firearms. We go beyond federal law requiring all customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm.”
Hargrove went on to point out that in 2015, Walmart stopped selling military-style semi-automatic rifles and has removed any air gun or toy that might resemble assault weapons from its website. Walmart also raised the minimum age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 last year. As company policy, Walmart does not release any data on its gun sales.
Since the shooting, which took place on Saturday, Walmart has been pressured by social media users to stop selling firearms, wrote CNN.
In response to a post made by Walmart on popular social media site Twitter in which the company wrote that they were all “praying for the victims, the community and our associates, as well as the first responders,” several Twitter users left comments asking Walmart to stop selling guns.
#BREAKING #ElPasoShooting: 'Multiple people gunned down' at #Walmart in USA #border townhttps://t.co/M2Bf8Zxa9V #ElPaso #MassShooting #activeshooter #CieloVistaMall #CieloVistaMallShooting #Texas pic.twitter.com/pUTNB6AO34— Dr. Wendell Craig (@drwendellcraig_) August 3, 2019
“Hey @walmart, maybe you could, hmm, I don’t know, stop selling guns?” one Twitter user wrote.
“Boycott Walmart and every other non-specialist store until they stop selling murder weapons for profit,” another social media user responded.
Other users suggested that the retailer stop allowing customers to carry firearms in its stores, while some pointed out that as a major retailer of guns, Walmart is in a position to push lawmakers to enact tighter gun regulations.
Kris Brown, president of gun violence prevention advocacy group Brady, spoke out about how Walmart is in a position of leadership and advocacy when it comes to gun restrictions. He said that since Walmart has already implemented stronger gun safety policies on its own, it’s clear the company is concerned with public safety, adding that it makes sense for Walmart to push the same policies at a broader level.
Brown continued to say that Walmart could encourage other retailers to follow its lead in implementing safe firearms sales policies while also implementing programs to educate its customers on gun safety.
The El Paso Walmart massacre carried out by a gunman identified by police as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius is the eighth deadliest in U.S. history.