WASHINGTON – US retail giant Walmart raised on Wednesday the age restriction for purchases of firearms and ammunition in its stores to 21, following a shooting at a high school in Florida which killed 17 people.
In addition to raising the minimum age, Walmart also announced that, “in light of recent events,” that it was removing items “resembling assault-style rifles” from its website, including “airsoft guns and toys.”
In 2015, Walmart stopped selling assault rifles such as the popular AR-15, a model that has been used in several mass shootings, including in at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago that left 17 dead.
The company said it does not sell handguns, except for in Alaska.
“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 said in a statement.
The decision came on the same day that Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest sports retailer in the country, announced that it had removed assault rifles from its stores.
Dick’s Sporting Goods also raised the age to buy weapons to 21.
“We’re staunch supporters of the Second Amendment. I’m a gun owner myself. We don’t want to be a part of this story and we have eliminated these guns permanently,” said Edward Stack, the company’s chief executive.