Walmart Bans Sale Of Guns To Anyone Under 21
Walmart announced on Wednesday it’ll no longer sell guns and ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.
The company said it felt an ‘obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms’ and ‘go beyond’ federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing a gun.
Walmart also said it will continue to adhere to a 2015 policy which banned the sale of ‘modern sporting rifles’ like the AR-15, the semi-automatic weapon used by the gunman in the Parkland shooting.
A statement released by the company, in a ground-breaking move, also announced they’d stop selling toy guns which resemble assault rifles, designed in their initial conception for military use.
The full statement reads:
In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age.
We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.
In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15. We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers.
Additionally, we do not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and ensure our policies are applied.
We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm.
The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.
We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including non-lethal airsoft guns and toys.
Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.
Earlier on Wednesday, (February 28), Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would immediately end sales of assault-style rifles in its stores and would not longer sell guns to anyone under the age of 21.
In an open letter released on its website on Wednesday, the chain’s CEO, Edward Stack, said it was time for the country to do more to end violence.
The company tweeted a series of announcements outlining their stance:
Stack acknowledged the Parkland massacre, the school shooting on Valentine’s Day this year which saw 17 people were killed and many more injured in the eighth deadliest shooting in modern US history.
He also credited student protesters who have since called for gun reform, saying:
We heard you. The nation heard you.
Alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz bought one of his weapons at a Dick’s.
It was not the AR-15 used in the killings but Stack said he should not have been able to purchase any weapons in the first place.
Walmart and Dick’s acted after a number of major companies moved last week to dissociate themselves from the NRA, including Hertz car rental, MetLife insurance and Delta Air Lines, among others, which publicly ended their relationships with the organisation.
In an incredible display of the power of youth, mass student protests against the NRA and lax gun control in the US seems to be working.
A 19-year-old Marjory Stoneman Doulgas student, Emma Gonzalez, went viral for her impassioned speech at Fort Lauderdale, which called on President Donald Trump to use his power to make this the ‘last school shooting’.
She spoke about her emotional reaction below:
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The violence in Parkland marked the second-greatest loss of life from a shooting at a US public school, after the 2012 massacre of 20 students and six teachers at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
It’s also the deadliest mass shooting – defined by The Gun Violence Archive as an incident in which ‘at least four people injured or killed in one location, not including the suspect’ – ever at an American high school.
It surpasses the 1999 rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where two teenagers killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives.
The subsequent outcry of grief in the aftermath of any tragic event like this is compounded by society’s firmly held belief how school should be a place of safety.
Michael Moore discussed the very same issue way back in 2002, in Bowling For Columbine:
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It’s a feeling echoed by child psychotherapist, Dr Valerie Sinason, who told UNILAD how trauma on such a large, community-wide scale can leave young people suffering with PTSD for years to come.
Dr Sinason, explains ‘feeling heard’ by counsellors, supportive friends and family members can alleviate victims’ symptoms of PTSD, but added this is a type of incomparable childhood trauma.
Nevertheless, a mass shooting is a different order of trauma. From Columbine onwards this is a particular American tragedy with post traumatic stress disorder being the largest result.
While some with huge support networks and lucky personalities escape relatively unscathed, PTSD symptoms can last for years. However the community trauma adds to the pain of the child victims.
Also those closest to young people killed have the highest symptoms.
Now, it seems those young people are the ones turning the tide towards a place of safety; schools in which kids are sold bullet proof backpacks, and teachers don’t need to carry guns.
Finally, common sense prevails.