Guns

Walmart Apologizes For Back-To-School Gun Display (Photo)

| by Michael Howard
Firearm displayFirearm display

Walmart has issued an apology after a customer took a picture of a display that appeared to advertise guns as back-to-school items.

In the picture, which spread quickly online, a sign reading "Own the school year like a hero" is sitting atop a glass case filled with firearms.

The display triggered outrage among social media users.

"What are you suggesting?" one Twitter user asked the company.

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Responding to the controversy, Walmart described the display as "truly awful" and "horrible," according to CNN.

"What's seen in this photograph would never be acceptable in our stores," Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson told The Washington Post. "We regret this situation and are looking into how it could have happened."

He added that it was unclear whether the sign had been placed on the gun display by an employee or a customer.

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There is confusion about the location of the store. At one point Walmart indicated the store was in Evansville, Indiana, and that it had removed the sign. Crowson later clarified that the information was false and that the company was still trying to figure out where the picture was taken.

But Leeanna May told The Washington Post that it was in fact the Evansville store. She said she knows because she's the one who took the photo.

She said she and her husband came across the "disgusting" display while shopping there on the morning of Aug. 9.

May added that the display immediately called to mind the numerous school shootings that have taken place across the country. She said she notified store employees but was unable to find a manager.

"We have already lost so many innocent lives to guns," she said. "People don't seem to honestly care."

Walmart's official Twitter account appears to have confirmed May's account.

Shortly after the image was uploaded to Twitter, Walmart tweeted May: "We appreciate you letting us know about this display. Which store location was this?"

May tweeted back that it was Evansville, to which the company responded: "I'm happy to tell you our store manager Christina has removed the sign from the display. Thanks again for alerting us to this."

Walmart has found itself in hot water before due to questionable marketing strategies, CNN notes.

In September 2016, the company drew criticism for a 9/11-themed Coca-Cola display in which stacked cases of soda were made to resemble the World Trade Center. The display was taken down after Walmart received a flood of complaints.

In 2014, Walmart sparked controversy for selling "fat girl" Halloween costumes on its website. The company later apologized.

Sources: CNN, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Cory Doctorow/Flickr / Embedded Images: sara/Twitter, Mike Mozart/Flickr

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