Walmart is under fire after Dick’s Sporting Goods banned assault rifles — but it stopped selling those guns 3 years ago

Joseph Barbarito holds a sign as he waits for protesters to deliver a petition to Walmart in Danbury, Connecticut January 15, 2013. The petition was signed by about 300,000 citizens nationwide urging Walmart, the nation's largest gun retailer, to halt sales of assault weapons and munitions nationwide. Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015.

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Joseph Barbarito holds a sign as he waits for protesters to deliver a petition to Walmart in Danbury, Connecticut January 15, 2013. The petition was signed by about 300,000 citizens nationwide urging Walmart, the nation’s largest gun retailer, to halt sales of assault weapons and munitions nationwide. Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015.
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REUTERS/ Michelle McLoughlin

  • Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015, citing sluggish demand.
  • Many people are unaware of Walmart‘s decision, however, and are now flooding the retailer’s Facebook page with requests to ban the guns.

Now that Dick’s Sporting Goods has banned the sale of assault-style weapons in its Field & Stream stores, many people are looking to Walmart, the nation’s largest gun seller, to follow suit.

People are begging Walmart on its social-media accounts to stop selling the guns like the one used in the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members earlier this month.

“Walmart – PLEASE match the pledge made by Dick’s Sporting goods for the sake of our children,” one Facebook user wrote Wednesday morning.

What they don’t know is that Walmart stopped selling assault-style guns three years ago, long before the move by Dick’s.

At the time, Walmart attributed its decision to sluggish demand for the guns, rather than politics.

“It was done purely based on customer demand,” Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, told The New York Times. The rifles, he said, were not “something customers were looking for and buying when they came into our stores.”

Walmart still sells rifles and hand guns. The 2015 decision only affected firearms that accept high-capacity magazines, or in other words, that can hold several rounds of ammunition.