Walmart stopped ammunition sales for assault-style rifles and handguns, further restricting the retailer’s gun-related sales and policies after two deadly shootings at its stores last month, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mass shootings have raised pressure on retailers and policy makers to take steps against gun violence. Walmart’s policy shift exceeds measures taken by other big retailers that have tightened gun policies after other deadly shootings. Kroger followed Walmart in asking customers not to display their firearms in stores located in “open carry” states, the Washington Post reports. In Washington, D.C., Congress is set to return after a recess as expectations for gun legislation run high. White House officials have met with congressional staff to discuss measures to tighten background checks and boost mental-health services. The man who went on a deadly shooting spree in Texas on Saturday was barred under federal law from owning or buying firearms because a court had determined he was mentally unfit.
Doubts remain that Congress will act with the 2020 election looming and because President Donald Trump hasn’t endorsed a legislative package. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, said it would no longer sell short-barrel rifle ammunition—used in assault-style guns and some hunting rifles—as well as all handgun ammunition. The retailer stopped selling handguns in all U.S. stores except in Alaska two decades ago but will now cease in that state. Chief Executive Doug McMillon told employees, “Our remaining assortment will be even more focused on the needs of hunting and sport-shooting enthusiasts.” McMillon said the company has no plans to discontinue gun sales, noting its long history of serving hunters. The retailer’s selection is focused on hunting rifles and shotguns. In 2015, Walmart stopped selling assault-style rifles. Walmart said expects its market share of ammunition sales to fall under 10 percent over time.