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The company introduced this new policy on firearms while state lawmakers have stalled on the issue of gun control, despite the multiple mass shootings in recent months.
“It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote Tuesday, days after a separate shooting Saturday in Odessa and Midland, Texas that killed seven people.
“We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” he said.
‘A mass shooting roughly doubles the number of laws enacted in a year that loosen gun restrictions in states with Republican-controlled legislatures.’
—Newly released study, ‘The Impact of Mass Shootings on Gun Policy’
State-level firearm bills between 1990 and 2014 have a passage rate of just 15.6%, according to researchers at Harvard Business School and University of California, Los Angeles.
Researchers looking into the impacts of mass shootings said there were 20,409 firearm bills introduced in state legislatures between 1990 and 2014, but only 3,199 became laws.
One mass shooting leads to a 15% increase in state-level firearm bills within a year of the event, they said. The study counted a mass shooting as an attack that kills at least four people.
Republicans, tending towards loosened rules, introduced 48% more firearm-related bills in the year after a mass shooting, according to the study. Democrats, tending towards tighter rules, introduced 11% more bills researchers said.
In fact, “a mass shooting roughly doubles the number of laws enacted in a year that loosen gun restrictions in states with Republican-controlled legislatures.”
There wasn’t any statistically significant spike in new gun laws in Democrat-controlled statehouses, according to the study, which was distributed this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
There are more than 30,000 gun fatalities a year , the study said. More than half (56%) are suicides and 40% are homicides, the researchers said. Between 1989 and 2014, mass shootings accounted for 0.13% of all gun deaths, they added.
Given those numbers, mass shootings appear to have “outsized influence,” on when lawmakers have decided when to act during that lengthy span from 1990 to 2014, the researchers wrote.
In addition to taking handgun ammunition off its shelves and stopping handgun sales in Alaska — which close out the retailer’s sales of handguns — Walmart is also asking shoppers not to bring their guns into stores even if state laws allow “open carry.”
The National Rifle Association said it was “shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms.”
Others supported Walmart’s decision. For example, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, who once represented El Paso in his congressional district, said on Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -1.46% , “This is a step in the right direction — and I’m grateful Walmart has taken action — but we can’t rely on corporations to stop gun violence.”
A Walmart /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT +0.48% spokesman declined to comment beyond McMillon’s announcement.
Walmart shares are up 23% year to date. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.06% is up almost 16% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.17% is up nearly 12% over the same period.