Despite two deadly shootings at its stores within a week, US retail store Walmart has no plans to stop selling of guns and ammunition, reports a spokesperson on Sunday.
An unknown man has opened fire with a striking rifle at Walmart in Texas, took the lives of 20 innocent, within 4-days after a dissatisfied employee has shot dead two co-workers and injured a responding policeman at one of Walmart’s stores in Mississippi.
“We are focused on supporting our associates, our customers and the entire El Paso community,” said Randy Hargrove, a spokesperson of the retail giant. Following the EL Paso shooting, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has posted a note on Instagram, claims that he “can’t believe” it was the second such in a week.
MCMillion wrote, “My heart aches for the community in El Paso, especially the associates and customers at store 2201 and the families of the victims.”
“I’m praying for them and I hope you will join me,” said Walmart founder Sam Walton. He is fond of guns – so much so that the US gun manufacturer Remington has named a hunting rifle model after him. However, Walmart claims that it target audience is sport hunters and shooters. It has made gun policy changes over the past years, such as in 1993, when it avert selling of handguns.
In 2015, Walmart stopped selling of semi-automatic rifles, after the incident of devastating shooting in February 2008 in Florida’s Parkland. It took the lives of 17 people at a high school – the retail giant has raised the minimum age to purchase guns and ammunition in its stores to 21.
Besides, “Walmart goes beyond federal law requiring all customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” added Hargrove.
He further noted that all new employees of the store are required to complete an active shooter training course, which they then must pass on a computer 4 times annually. But since it is the largest retail chain in America, Walmart continues to attract condemn for its enduring stock of firearms.
When Walmart tweeted from its official page that it was “in stock” after the tragedy in El Paso, many social media users replied, “Stop Selling Guns.”