Given the hot topic of gun control and the great social dillemma in America that is gripping the nation in the opinion on the topic, Walmart has made a decision which it may come to regret.
CEO Doug McMillon has decided that after Walmart sells through its current inventory of select ammunition, it will stop selling it altogether.
“After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons”, said McMillion in the press release about the issue.
In the same press release, McMillon asked the public for a favor.
“We are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers. Shoppers with a conceal carry permit are allowed to carry but your firearm must not be seen or brandished.”
While McMillon did not make a threat to take action against open carrying shoppers and seems to be alright with concealed carry, the damage to the store’s reputation is done.
He concluded his statements in one final, sour note to end his address.
“We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.”
McMillon has been cited to be uninformed on firearms, referring to magazines as “clips” and to commonly available rifles as “Military-Style”. Additionally, flames were fanned in the 2nd Ammendment community for his alleged support for red flag laws associated with his closing statements.
Terms and technicalities aside, 2nd Ammendment Activists claim that the beginning of his favor implies that he is making rules for shopper conduct that violate their rights to carry and his closing statements are implying that he supports an anti-constitutional confiscation.
The problem is, he is only honestly generting a disgruntled base of customers who will inevitably stop shopping at Walmart.
All bias or opinions aside, that is the reality. No matter how this issue was talked about; in favor or not, it seems like “no comment” would have been the best comment.
For Walmart, a historically gun-friendly place, it seems like that title is gone. For gun reform advocates, it seems like not enough was done.
What McMillon does not know, is that any wound in their reputation has been torn apart and will become a scar. He’ll be lucky if it ever fades.
Merely talking about a topic as a public figure has hidden implications. This particular instance of conversation has created a dual-sided ripple effect that will make Walmart very unpopular overall.