On Wednesday, Walmart announced that it intends on removing military-style semiautomatic rifles, such as AR-15s, from its shelves.
Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg said that as the store makes a transition from summer to fall merchandise, it will remove all semiautmatic rifles from the inventory in all 4,600 stores nationwide, CNN Money reported. The process will take between one and two weeks to complete.
According to Lundberg, the decision to remove the firearms was due to a decline in sales.
“It's similar to what we do with any product. Being what it is, it gets a little more attention, but it's the same process for any other product,” he said.
The store plans on increasing inventory of other models of firearms that are popular among hunters.
“We wanted to make sure when customers are coming and looking to purchase those products, they see the products they want. We see more business from hunters and people shooting clay,” Lundberg said.
The removal was not politically motivated, according to the store, though the announcement was made the same day that a TV journalist and cameraman in Virginia were shot dead during a live interview.
Walmart CEO Douglas McMillon did, however, speak to the eventual removal of semiautomatic firearms from the store’s inventory during a June 23 interview with CNN.
“Our focus in terms of firearms should be hunters and people who shoot sporting clays, and things like that,” McMillon said. “So the types of rifles we sell, the types of ammunition we sell, should be curated for those things."
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