Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) has removed displays of guns and ammunition from its 4,700 stores in the United States in an effort to thwart theft of the weapons in the event of civil unrest, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
What Happened: The retail giant will sell guns and ammunition on request, according to the Journal.
A Walmart spokesperson told the Journal that the precautionary move was made after cases of “isolated civil unrest” for the safety of the retailer’s associates and customers.
The Arkansas-headquartered company told its employees in a letter that the guns were taken off the displays “due to the current unrest in isolated areas of the country and out of an abundance of caution.”
Why It Matters: Violent protests and looting took place in Philadelphia on Monday after the police killed a Black man holding a knife, the Journal noted.
Walmart is reportedly the largest retailer of guns and ammunition in the U.S. but has been trimming its offering after a shooting at a Texas Walmart caused 23 fatalities last year.
In March, when the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the U.S., gun sales soared. Sales of weapons also skyrocketed during the 2016 presidential elections, as per CNN.
Price Action: Walmart shares closed nearly 0.1% lower at $139.92 on Thursday and fell 0.65% in the after-hours session.
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