Walmart drops AR-15s: Political pressure or just business?
Walmart made the decision this week to discontinue the sale of sporting rifles like AR-15s, and now many are questioning their reasons.
Rifles are sold in a third of Walmart stores across the United States, but according to the retailer, they aren’t selling as well as they have in the past. Some believe this decision was made after the high profile mass shootings that have occurred in the United States this year, but Walmart assured customers that this wasn’t the case.
Firearm sales have recently been declining across the United States, in general. Remington Outdoor Group’s gun sales dropped over 13 percent in August, and the total sales of Smith & Wessons dipped 12 percent nationwide.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of demand for those products, so we replaced them with products we have seen customers coming into purchase it,” said Kory Lundberg, Walmart’s spokesman.
Would Walmart choose to drop a product over political pressure? In June, Walmart ended the sale of any product that featured a confederate flag on it in response to the Charleston shooting. They stated that they “never want to offend anyone with the products we offer.” Activists for gun control have called for Walmart to stop the sale of certain firearms after shootings involving assault rifles have taken place, so it’s possible that pressure from the public factored into their decision.
Regardless of Walmart’s reasoning, it comes as a surprise that they would end the sale of assault rifles since they are biggest firearm and ammunition retailer in the United States. If declining sales was the only motivation behind their decision, gun shops across the country may be facing the same problem and they too may choose to follow Walmart’s lead.
Why do you think Walmart stopped selling AR-15s? Should they have dropped them from their stores? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.