Walmart announced that it would no longer sell handgun ammunition and short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used for military style weapons.
The announcements were made in the wake of two recent mass shootings at Walmart stores--one in Southaven, Miss., on July 31 that left two dead and one injured and the other in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3 that left 22 dead and 24 injured.
Walmart, which trades under the ticker symbol WMT, predicts that it will lose 6%-9% of the U.S. marketwide $2 billion share on these products. Still, that’s not a big loss considering Walmart pulled in $514 billion in the latest fiscal year. Walmart Chief Executive Office Doug McMillon made the announcement to appease socially-conscious shoppers, but at the same time, alienating gun-rights advocates.
This is an announcement that we welcome with open arms. Now the smaller mom-and-pop ammunition sellers across the nation will step up to fill the void.
Walmart has long sold products to the detriment of local mom and pop establishments. With the advent of Walmart in the 1980s, small towns across the nation were fundamentally changed. The towns’ centers ceased to serve as the commercial and retail hubs.
Across the nation, as Walmart stores popped up, small business in those towns folded. As the big box stores built on the outskirts of small towns, sprawl followed, along with fast food restaurants and title loan companies.
Studies have proven that wherever Walmart set up shop, jobs and businesses leave and main street--once the social and commercial center of rural small towns--dies.
The announcement that Walmart will no longer sell certain types of ammunition probably won’t effect very many small towns, but the announcement is a reminder of how hundreds of small towns across the nation were fundamentally changed in the 1980s with the advent of the big box store coming to town.
And thankfully, Marion County has many specialty shop ammunition sellers which can easily fill the void of Walmart’s lost sales locally.
Michael E. Palmer -Staff Writer