Walmart announced Wednesday that it will raise the age to purchase guns and ammunition to twenty-one. The retailer will also stop selling airsoft guns and toys that look like an AR-15. Here’s the company’s full statement:
In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.
In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15. We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers. Additionally, we do not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and ensure our policies are applied.
We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm. The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.
We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys. Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.
Earlier today, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would stop selling any AR-15s and high capacity magazines. The store will also raise the age to purchase guns to twenty-one. Dick’s went considerably beyond that though. A statement released by the company called for a federal ban on “assault-style firearms” and having Congress raise the buying age to twenty-one.
All of this comes on a day when President Trump seems to be joining in on the same push. CNN reported today that, despite a direct appeal from the NRA, Trump “preference” is to raise the purchase age:
National Rifle Association leaders appealed directly to President Donald Trump about not raising the age limit for buying certain firearms, a senior administration official tells CNN.
The appeal came when Trump had lunch with the leaders on Sunday. The official said the NRA would prefer that the White House pursue school safety programs.
The official, however, said that although the White House continues to speak with the NRA, they’re not going to agree on everything…
The official maintained that the President does want to raise the purchasing age of certain firearms to 21 years old. Though there has been “a lot of flux in the way it’s been communicated, the President’s preference is that it’s raised to 21,” according to this official. This person said several times that this is Trump’s “preference.”
As Allahpundit noted earlier, Trump even handed the left a ready-made campaign ad by suggesting anyone who isn’t for raising the purchase age is “afraid of the NRA.” Here’s the clip you’re likely to see a lot later this year:
“You’re afraid of the NRA,” President Trump slams senators in a stunning exchange over whether they would introduce legislation raising the age to buy firearms from 18 to 21 https://t.co/6Env0DFfYH pic.twitter.com/LBvj4xi8ic
— CNN (@CNN) February 28, 2018
Finally, Reason takes a look at whether or not it’s legal for Walmart and other stores to stop selling guns to people who are legally adults. Eugene Volokh’s conclusion: It probably is legal in most places but some states (about a third) have laws against age discrimination which could make the decision problematic and subject to legal challenge.