Walmart has taken guns and ammunition off its stores’ shelves ahead of Election Day, citing potential “civil unrest.”
The retail giant removed the items off the shelves in case there are any riots that could lead to stores being looted and lead to the possible theft of firearms, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Walmart will still be selling the items upon request even though they are no longer on display.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” a Walmart spokesman said, per the WSJ.
In a letter to store managers Wednesday, the company asked staff to pull guns from display “due to the current unrest in isolated areas of the country and out of an abundance of caution.”
The decision comes amid a new string of riots in Philadelphia that left businesses ransacked. (RELATED: Multiple Storefronts Are Boarding Up Windows And Entrances Ahead Of Possible Election Day Protests And Violence In DC)
Mass looting across the river and @ElijahSchaffer just got beaten up for filming. This is inside the Five Below store. Police are in the same parking lot near the Walmart, but there seem to be too many looters pic.twitter.com/CZeIiMokJa
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) October 28, 2020
But this isn’t the first time Walmart has taken action to curb the sale of firearms.
Walmart’s decision also comes as gun retailers see a spike in gun sales. Since the pandemic began, California alone has seen roughly 47,000 new gun owners, with a majority citing a fear of lawlessness as their prime reason for getting a gun.