Walmart is taking assault rifles like the AR-15 off its shelves as it restocks for the fall, Quartz is reporting. Walmart carries these rifles in less than a third of its stores and plans to replace them with shotguns and other hunting weapons.
The AR-15 was infamously used in the mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, and is heavily regulated in a handful of states. Earlier this year, the Obama administration sought to ban a type of bullet used in assault rifles. But Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for Walmart, says the decision to stop selling assault rifles was not motivated by politics. “The decision was completely based on what customers are buying and what they want,” Lundberg tells Quartz.
Here’s bit more context from Bloomberg:
Wal-Mart has been selling modern sporting rifles, the industry term for guns that look like the military-style M-16 rifle, at about a third of its U.S. locations. In 2006, the company reduced the number and variety of guns it offered in stores and replaced them with more upscale products such as exercise equipment. It then reintroduced firearms to many locations in April 2011, part of a broader strategy to add back merchandise and boost sales growth at U.S. stores.
While sales of the rifles themselves are being phased out, Walmart will continue to carry AR-15 ammunition.