Walmart adds change to gun sales policy after move by Dick's Sporting Goods

EMBED </>More Videos

Dick's sporting goods not sellling assault-style weapons

Walmart says it will now require anyone trying to buy firearms and ammunition from stores to be 21 years old or older.

Late Wednesday, the largest retailer in the U.S. cited recent events in reviewing its firearms sales policy.

"Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age," Walmart said in a statement. "We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change."

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also re-stated its 2015 decision to end sales of "modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15." It said other accessories including bump stocks and high-capacity magazines are not sold at Walmart stores.

The rest of Walmart's statement:

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's decision follows a change in policy at Dick's Sporting Goods. Also on Wednesday, the chairman and CEO of the sporting retailer announced that the chain will no longer sell assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines.

In an open letter, Ed Stack said the nation's largest sporting goods retailer will stop selling certain weapons, and will not sell firearms to anyone under age 21.

"We looked at what happened down in Parkland and we were so disturbed and saddened by what happened, we felt we needed to do something," Stack said in an interview on 'Good Morning America.' "So we've decided not to sell these assault weapons any longer in any of our stores."

The new measures go into effect today. Aside from Dick's, the Pittsburgh-based, publicly traded company also operates stores under the Gold Galaxy, Field & Stream, True Runner and Chelsea Collective banners.

Dick's announced a temporary suspension of assault-style rifles from its stores after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 elementary school students and educators.

Assault-style rifles were later sold in the company's Field & Stream stores, according to Stack.

"We're taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently," Stack announced.

ABC13 reached out to several major sporting goods stores to find out if they're planning any changes to gun sales.

Academy Sport + Outdoors sent in a statement. In it, they did not mention plans to discontinue the sale of any certain weapon but did say they support legislation to strengthen background checks.

"We serve a broad base of customers, and outdoor sports, including hunting and shooting sports, are an important tradition and recreational activity for many of our customers and their families. We are strongly committed to ensuring the legal, safe and responsible transfer of firearms. We follow all applicable regulations relating to the sale of firearms and regularly review our internal policies and processes to ensure our legal and responsible sale of firearms and encourage safe usage and ownership. As a Federal Firearms Licensee, we support the Fix NICS Bill to strengthen the background check system and require greater compliance with the law."-Academy Sports + Outdoors

We also reached out to Bass Pro, which owns Cabelas, and they did not return our calls or emails.

Governor Greg Abbott even weighed in.

"Businesses are free to choose which pathway they want to go and if that's the pathway Dick's wants to use then that's the pathway they're going to go down," said Governor Greg Abbott, (R)-Texas.

The gun debate has taken center stage in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A gunman armed with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and multiple magazines killed 17 people and wounded 14 others.

Related Topics:
gun violencegunsparkland school shootingu.s. & world
(Copyright ©2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)