Wal-mart Stores Inc. has just recently announced that it will no longer be selling semi-automatic rifles in its stores, including the AR-15. One of the country’s leading retailers says that demand for the said guns have been weak. Instead, the company wants to focus on selling more “hunting and sportsman firearms.”
Wal-mart spokesman Kory Lundberg explained to Reuters that the company has decided to stop selling modern sports rifles (MSR) as sales have been weak for these kind of rifles lately. Lundberg said that, in fact, less than a third of Walmart stores has managed to sell the said class of rifles recently. Today, there are about 4,500 stores in the U.S. Meanwhile, the company’s decision to put more focus on sporting and hunting guns may also be aligned with its latest efforts to “reset” the company’s sporting goods department for the fall season.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Amy Hunter has sent an email to NPR in response to Wal-Mart’s latest move. She said that the NRA is disappointed by Wal-mart’s decision. Moreover, she stated that the NRA appreciates the fact that fire arm retailers are still able to readily sell firearms to law abiding citizens. They continue to assert that the AR-15 is, in fact, the “most popular general use rifle” in America.
Wal-Mart has actually come under pressure recently from one of the company’s investors, New York City’s Trinity Church. They were pushing for Wal-Mart to implement a tighter oversight when it comes to selling high-capacity magazines.
The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was actually used in a number of deadly shootings over the years. This include the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut as well as the shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
Meanwhile, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Lori Haas also told the NPR that phasing out semi-automatic rifles from Walmart stores is a “great idea.” Moreover, she believes this means that there are “responsible citizens reacting to the gun violence in our country.”