Reversing a decision earlier this week to prevent potential looting, Walmart Inc. said Friday it would return firearms and ammunition to the display shelves in its U.S. stores.
The retail giant, which sells firearms in about half of its 4,700 U.S. stores, said Wednesday it was removing the items from displays due to “civil unrest” in some areas of the country. These moves came after protests, vandalism and an overnight curfew in Philadelphia, over the police killing Monday of Walter Wallace Jr., a Black man with a history of mental health problems in West Philadelphia. The guns and ammunition still remained for sale at the stores, but they weren’t visible to customers.
After civil unrest caused damage to several Walmart stores, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer decided to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store.
“As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to return these products to the sales floor,” Walmart said Friday.
Last year, Walmart changed its gun policy and stopped selling ammunition that can be used in semiautomatic rifles and handguns after a deadly mass shooting at one of its stores in El Paso, Tex.