‘Customers no longer feel as safe’: Walmart employee emails petition protesting gun sales to CEO Doug McMillon

Guns displayed in a Walmart store.

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Guns displayed in a Walmart store.
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Business Insider

  • A Walmart corporate employee named Thomas Marshall on Tuesday emailed a petition with more than 128,000 signatures to the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, demanding that Walmart stop selling guns and ammunition.
  • “Customers no longer feel as safe as they once did in our stores,” Marshall wrote in a message accompanying the petition.
  • Marshall is a Walmart e-commerce employee based in San Bruno, California, who helped organize a recent walkout protesting the company’s gun sales.
  • McMillon has said the company will be “thoughtful and deliberate” in its responses to two recent shootings at its stores that together killed 24 people.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Walmart corporate employee on Tuesday delivered a petition with more than 128,000 signatures to the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, that calls for Walmart to stop selling guns and ammunition in its stores, Business Insider has learned.

The employee, Thomas Marshall, told Business Insider on Tuesday that he emailed McMillon a copy of the petition that included all the signatures. He shared the 5,818-page petition and an accompanying email message addressed to McMillon with Business Insider.

“The last thing we would want to do is politicize pain; please know, in delivering this petition, we want to prevent more unnecessary pain,” Marshall wrote in the email to McMillon. “Customers no longer feel as safe as they once did in our stores. We must do more. We have the power to do more.”

When asked about Marshall’s email, a Walmart spokesman said, “With more than 1 million associates and millions more customers, we’re listening to a wide range of perspectives and views.”

Read more: Walmart: ‘It’s time’ for Congress to debate an assault-weapons ban

Walmart has said it has no plans to stop selling guns or ammunition after two recent shootings at Walmart stores, which killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, and two Walmart employees in Southaven, Mississippi.

Marshall is a Walmart e-commerce employee based in San Bruno, California, who helped organize a recent walkout protesting the company’s gun sales. He called for action against Walmart’s gun sales in a mass email immediately following the shootings.

The petition he delivered to McMillon on Tuesday asks Walmart to stop selling guns and ammunition in its stores, bar people from carrying guns onto company property, and cease donations to politicians who accept money from the National Rifle Association.

McMillon said last week that the company was “thinking through the broader issues related to gun violence and things we should do to help create safer communities.”

Read more: Walmart CEO promises ‘thoughtful and deliberate’ response to 2 deadly shootings at its stores

Walmart is also looking to “identify additional actions we can take to strengthen our processes, improve our technology and create an even safer environment in our stores,” he said.

“We’re a learning organization, and we’ll work to understand the many important issues arising from El Paso and Southaven as well as those raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence,” McMillon said in a note addressed to Walmart employees that was posted to social media. “We’ll be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and will act in a way that reflects our best values and ideals, focused on the needs of our customers, associates and communities.”

Read the message that Marshall sent McMillon:

“Dear Mr. McMillon, I have had the pleasure of working at Walmart for more than a year now. I value Walmart’s ethos of listening to and valuing the voice of every associate, and putting the customer first, always. Thank you for leading with kindness and integrity, your efforts along with those of leaders in El Paso and Southhaven have not gone unnoticed. The last thing we would want to do is politicize pain; please know, in delivering this petition, we want to prevent more unnecessary pain.

“Below is a petition, signed by 128,151 individuals, that calls for Walmart to stop the sale of all firearms and ammunition, ban the public carry of firearms on company property and in stores, and cease WALPAC donations to NRA supported (A/A+ NRA Rating) politicians.

“Our company has already made huge strides towards these goals, banning assault-style weapons in 2015 and raising the minimum age to buy firearms and ammunition from 18 to 21 in 2018. However, despite these measures, on June 12th, 2016, a 29-year-old man murdered 49 people and wounded 53 in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, with bullets purchased at a Walmart. Despite this, on July 30th, 2019, a former associate murdered two other associates at Walmart #0848 in Southaven, Mississippi. Despite this, on August 3rd, 2019, a 21-year-old man murdered 22 predominantly Hispanic people and injured 27 inside Walmart #2201 in El Paso, Texas.

“Despite this, customers no longer feel as safe as they once did in our stores. We must do more. We have the power to do more. Attached is the name of every single one of the 128,151 signees and the petition they signed. This list of signees continues to grow by the minute on Change.org. I hope that you take our honest plea to heart and make the right decision on behalf of your associates and your customers. We are here to help and support you in this decision.”