While the campaign for stricter gun control legislation by the teen survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida may have fallen on the deaf ears of NRA-allied legislators, private companies are picking up the slack. Numerous companies who once offered special deals for NRA members have severed their ties. Today, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced today that they would no longer carry AR-15 assault rifles. Feeling the heat, Walmart is following suit.
Walmart announced today that it would raise the minimum allowable age for firearm and ammunition purchases to 21, a key component of the Parkland teens’ campaign for stricter gun control.
NEWS: Walmart is raising the age restriction for firearm and ammunition purchases to 21. The statement goes on to say that they are removing items from their website that resemble "assault-style rifles." pic.twitter.com/eKNypY464E— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 28, 2018
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 nonlethal 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.”
Walmart is following Dick’s Sporting Goods in placing more stringent requirements for firearm purchases than those allowed by federal law, filling a leadership vacuum left by GOP legislators in the thrall of the NRA.
While Walmart stopped selling assault weapons like the AR-15 in 2015 because of weak sales, this move flies in the face of the NRA’s position that new age restrictions shouldn’t be imposed on firearm purchases.
NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch slammed the move by Walmart, calling it “scary.”
Loesch on why it's ok to sell handguns to 21 year olds but sell semiautomatic rifles to 18 year olds: "This won't impact gangbangers in Chicago. This will impact the 19 year old who wants to go hunting." Calls Walmart's new age limit "scary."— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 1, 2018
I’m sure they’re legitimately scared, but I don’t think that’s why.