Walmart is responding to the recent deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio by removing the signage and displays from violent video games in their stores.
The Daily Beast is reporting that while the retail giant is taking charge when it comes to video games, there is no change to their policy regarding gun sales.
In a public statement after 22 people were killed inside an El Paso Walmart, just days after a store employee killed two people in an outlet in Southaven, Mississippi, Walmart spokesperson Tara House explained the changes when it comes to the sale of video games.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment.”
House added that the video games will still be sold in the stores, but they won’t be outwardly promoted.
According to USA Today, Walmart store managers were all sent a note from headquarters in reference to violent video games with “aggressive” themes, calling for “immediate action” at the store level.
The Walmart shooting in El Paso made international news, but the shooting in Southaven, Mississippi, where two store managers were killed by a gunman who was identified as a Walmart employee, has not.
— IGN (@IGN) August 9, 2019
Another Walmart spokesman, Randy Hargrove, stated that while policy wasn’t changing, they are taking down these displays to protect their customers.
‘There’s been no change in policy,” he said, while adding that they have been focused on caring for customers and employees in the El Paso community. “It’s horrible… what’s happened.”
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon sent a note to store employees promising that they are taking action, and that the retailer will be “thoughtful and deliberate” when it comes to making changes on the store level.
“We are a learning organization, and, as you can imagine, we will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence.”
McMillon continued, adding that any changes made will reflect the company’s values as well as the needs of the customers, associates, and communities.
Walmart managers have been told to use their best judgment when they are determining what is appropriate to display in the store. They have also been told to make sure that no movies playing on screens in the electronics department depict shooting or a shooter.