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NAT’L – RETAILERS – Walmart asked shoppers to stop openly carrying guns in its stores, but won’t necessarily punish those who do

Walmart on Tuesday asked shoppers to stop openly carrying guns in its stores as part of a broader response to deadly shootings at its stores. In a memo to employees, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the company was “respectfully requesting” that shoppers stop openly carrying firearms into its stores because of a string of recent incidents involving gun-carrying shoppers that caused store evacuations. “There have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers,” McMillon said in the memo. “These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so 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.” In addition to changing its open-carry policy, Walmart also said Tuesday that it would end the sale of ammunition for handguns and assault-style weapons and stop selling handguns in Alaska. Under the updated policy, shoppers openly carrying guns inside Walmart stores won’t be automatically told to the leave the store, a Walmart spokesperson told Business Insider. Walmart is leaving it up to the discretion of its store managers to decide how to respond to these situations on a case-by-case basis, the spokesperson said, and the company will provide employees with guidance and training to assist them with their responses.  [full article]

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