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Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action Applaud Walmart Decision to Prohibit Open Carry and Limit Ammunition Sales in Wake of El Paso Mass Shooting

September 3, 2019

Moms Demand Action Volunteers Took to Social Media to Ask Walmart to #RollbackOpenCarry, a Step That Starbucks, Chipotle, Target and Many Others Had Previously Taken

In 45 States, It’s Legal to Carry Loaded Firearms in Public With No Permit or Safety Training; Prohibiting Open Carry in Stores Will Help to Keep Walmart Shoppers and Employees Safe

NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, applauded Walmart’s announcement that it would change its gun policies following the mass shooting in an El Paso Walmart. According to reports, Walmart will limit ammunition sales and prohibit open carry in its stores — a step the mega-retailer is taking after ongoing conversations about increasing store public safety with Everytown and Moms Demand Action.

“As the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the country, Walmart has its finger on the pulse of what Americans want, and this decision reflects a clear reality – Americans want to be kept safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Elected officials would be well advised to remember that reality when they return to Washington next week. Everytown has been partnering with Walmart for more than a decade, and we applaud them for taking another significant step forward.”

“Open carry is dangerous, and we’re grateful Walmart — one of the largest companies in America — agrees,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “No mom should have to wonder if the guy with a gun strapped to his back in the milk aisle is a threat to her children. I’m grateful that Walmart has chosen to stand with families’ safety and take the step that Moms Demand Action volunteers have been asking it to take. This is a very significant step from one of America’s best-known companies.”

Along with other gun safety groups, Moms Demand Action volunteers have been asking Walmart to block open carry in its stores since the 2014 shooting death of John Crawford III in an Ohio Walmart. Crawford was shot while holding a BB gun, even though openly carrying any type of gun was allowed in Walmart.

This is not the first time Walmart has done the right thing on gun safety. Following the Parkland shooting in 2018, Walmart agreed to no longer sell firearms to customers under 21 years of age. In 2008, Walmart worked with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a part of Everytown, to adopt a “Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership.” Since this agreement in 2008, Walmart has gone beyond what federal law requires for gun sellers, by taking additional steps such as closing the Charleston Loophole in its stores and videotaping all firearm transactions. 

Walmart today joins a long list of companies that have taken the step to prohibit open carry in stores. In response to Moms Demand Action campaigns, businesses such as Target, Starbucks, Chipotle and many others have taken this commonsense step. 

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