Why is This Big News?
We all wine about Walmart’s long lines, bad service, trashy customers and so on. But for the most part, we all still shop there. It is so convenient to have everything you need under one roof and at great prices. Plus, since it basically never closes, we always have a place to go.
Walmart is the largest brick and mortar chain in the world. Their brand has over 5,000 stores in the US and employs over 1.5 million associates. To give an idea of how far they reach into our gun world, they currently sell 2% of all the firearms and a whopping 20% of all the ammunition in the US.
This large market share gives them a solid price advantage. This is what Walmart is best at. Buying in quality and then passing those savings on to their customers in a physical store.
What Changes Will I See at My Walmart?
There are a few major changes that you’ll see. As a gun owner, some will go unnoticed to you and some will change the way you shop more than you think.
First Change – Restricted Open Carry
First, they are doing a soft ban on open carry within their stores. Not a ban on guns, just on open carry. They will still allow lawful concealed carry guns.
I’m calling it a soft ban because they are leaving the discretion up to the store managers. Since they have stores throughout the nation with different cultures and laws. Some stores will routinely have open carry customers. While other stores will never have an open carry customer because local laws don’t allow open carry. So the local environment will dictate the individual store’s policy.
Locally, Columbus Ohio allows for open carry, but it’s not regularly practiced in public. It isn’t common to see someone walking around with a gun.
So, if you plan to open carry to Walmart, then this might affect you. You might be asked to leave or just asked to leave it in your car next time. It will mostly depend on how everyone reacts to the gun.
Keep Your Gun Concealed!
Your best option in public is always keeping your gun concealed. If you have a CCW license, then you’ll keep it concealed and no one will know. They aren’t looking to ban concealed carry guns, just the ones that cause other customers and employees’ concerns. Keep it concealed!
Don’t have a concealed carry license, take the Ohio CCW training with Armed2Defend! You’ll love our class! https://www.armed2defend.com/classes/ohio-concealed-carry-training/
Second Change – Stop Selling Select Calibers
The second change is that they are going to limit what calibers they sell. Specifically, they will stop selling handgun calibers and the .223 and 5.56 calibers used in AR-15’s. This is the biggest change for most shooters. However, it can be looked at as a positive and negative change.
Lack of Convenience!
Let’s look at the negative effect first. Higher ammo prices and less convenience. Now you won’t be able to pick up the practice ammo while getting dog food at midnight before your CCW class the next morning. You’ll have to make that special trip during regular business hours to a local gun store to get your ammo. The exception is that Meijer stores are open 24-hours and still sell ammunition. They just don’t have the selection and sell it as cheap as Walmart.
Increased Ammunition Price!
The second negative aspect is the increased price. Walmart currently sells 20% of all ammo sales. This is huge! If you talk to small local gun stores, they have a problem selling ammunition because they just can’t compete with Walmart’s buying power to offer it at a low enough price to sell. So the allowable markup is too small of a percentage to keep the lights on. Taking Walmart out of the market, now local stores can change more for ammunition and sell it. This means that you will expect to pay more for your ammo locally.
What about gun stores like Vances and even Cabelas? Yes, they will take advantage of the reduced-price pressure and eventually you’ll see an increase in ammo costs everywhere. They aren’t bad retailers. They are just trying to stay in business in a competing market.
What about online retailers? Walmart didn’t sell ammo online, so it’s a different market. These retailers are still fighting to become the online ammunition retail giant, so they will continue to compete heavily on price. The issue is paying to ship that heavy ammunition. Typically, shipping cost reduces the low price advantage of online ammunition sales.
Local Growth is Coming!
But this brings us to positive! Local businesses will start to boom. When a large retailer goes into an area, the local business just can’t compete, and they lose. Growing up in Canal Winchester, Ohio, I saw our local downtown pharmacy and grocery store close down after Kroger came in. Then after Walmart came in the IGA in the neighboring town had to close. Only niche businesses or specialty stores are able to survive because they aren’t in direct competition.
On that same idea, if the large retailer leaves or quits offering a product, now the market opens. In this case, small gun shops will have the ability to grow. We should see growth in small gun shops over the next few years. That is of course until Amazon starts to sell ammo, lol.
How Does it Impact CCW License Holders?
The major impact for Ohio CCW license holders will be on purchasing ammunition. In most cases, you’ll have to go to do a gun store during business hours and pay a little more. But keep in mind that you’re now supporting your local gun retailers. Enjoy the fact that you’re allowing them to now expand and offer more benefits.
Buy Bulk Ammo Locally Now!
Start your support now! Gemco at 5311 W Broad St in Columbus Ohio has a killer limited-time deal on pre-order ammunition. They are offering a case of 2000 rounds of 9 mm for only $157.80 plus tax. That comes to only $7.89 for a box of 50. They have many other calibers too. Stop by or give Greg a call for details,
What Legislative Changes Might We See?
Of course, Walmart didn’t just stop at what they are willing to sell, they encouraged legislators to create more laws to prevent bad guys. This is the main issue that I have with their statement and stance.
In my opinion, they can choose to sell whatever they want to sell. If they quit selling spray paint I wouldn’t care. It might be annoying if I went to buy some there. But what they choose to carry is their choice. But when they pressure legislators to add and/or change laws, now they’re on a direct collision course with my gun rights.
I can’t imagine what the CEO and everyone else involved had to experience after the attacks in their stores. They had to be directly involved in every dark aspect of the aftermath. It had to be horrific and life-changing. But the choices that those bad guys made, shouldn’t cause us to lose our rights.
Murder is a crime, why didn’t it stop these events?
How will more laws stop these horrific events? Murder is already one of the highest punishable crimes. Somehow, those words on paper didn’t stop any of these attacks. Why do we expect more laws to stop these bad guys?
What Can I Do?
Writing a post on Facebook or complaining to your friends won’t do anything.
Contact your legislators, support local and/or national gun rights organizations. If you don’t like one, find one you do like. Don’t complain about the solutions, find a good the solution.
Spend your money at local retailers. They might not always have the best prices, but they aren’t treading on your rights! Support the businesses that stand up for the Second Amendment.
If we lose our rights today, what did you do to try to prevent it? Hopefully, you did something!
What is Armed2Defend Doing?
Good question. I’m spending today writing this article. Will this change the world? No, but it also doesn’t benefit my business. It won’t drive one paying customer to my business. It won’t add SEO to my site or anything else to help me pay my bills. Maybe if I add more Ohio CCW class references to it, then it might help my SEO, lol.
You may or may not like the NRA, but we push for gun owners to join every chance we get. We’ve been the Top NRA Instructor Recruiter for the past 5 years. This year we’re the top instructor and we’re number 3 out of all recruiters.
Want to join the NRA? Click here to get your choice of a gift and the discounted NRA membership.
Even in this story, the NRA is the organization that news outlets go-to for a quote. Here is an example in this article. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/03/status-quo-is-unacceptable-walmart-will-stop-selling-some-ammunition-exit-handgun-market/?wpisrc=al_business__alert-economy&wpmk=1
What about Ohio Pro-gun Organizations?
In Ohio, we have a few pro-gun organizations that are good to support.
- Buckeye Firearms Association
- Ohioans for Concealed Carry
- Buckeyes for Concealed Carry Campus
- Let me know of others!
What Exactly Did Walmart Say?
That’s what I wanted to know too. Here is the full-text statement from Walmart CEO, Doug McMillon. This was quoted from here: https://www.businessinsider.com/walmart-bans-open-carry-guns-stops-selling-some-ammunition-2019-9 .
A month ago, in El Paso, Texas, a gunman with an assault-style rifle launched a hate-filled attack in our store, shooting 48 people resulting in the loss of 22 innocent lives. Just a few days prior, two of our associates were killed by another associate in our store in Southaven, Mississippi. And hours after the shooting in El Paso, our country experienced another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. This weekend brought tragedy to Midland and Odessa, Texas.
In Southaven and El Paso, our associates responded to anger and hate with courage and self-sacrifice. Our immediate priorities were supporting our associates and the impacted families and cooperating with law enforcement. In parallel, we have been focused on store safety and security. We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.
After visiting El Paso on Aug. 6, I mentioned that we would be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses. We’re ready to share our next steps.
We’ve been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We’ve previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.
Today, we’re sharing the decisions we’ve made that go further: After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons; We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.
We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand. As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same. Our remaining assortment will be even more focused on the needs of hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts. It will include long barrel deer rifles and shotguns, much of the ammunition they require, as well as hunting and sporting accessories and apparel. We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%. We believe it will likely drift toward the lower end of that range, over time, given the combination of these changes.
As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.
We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results. We hope that everyone will understand the circumstances that led to this new policy and will respect the concerns of their fellow shoppers and our associates. As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach. This morning, we briefed your leadership team on how to communicate this change in policy to customers when needed, and they will be sharing that with you very soon. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our priority is your safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks.
As an additional step, we commit we will work alongside other retailers to make the overall industry safer, including sharing our best practices. For example, we are exploring ways to share the technical specifications and compliance controls for our proprietary firearms sales technology platform. This system navigates the tens of millions of possible combinations of federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements that come into effect based on where the firearm is being sold and who is purchasing it. We hope that providing this information, free of charge, will help more retailers sell firearms in a responsible, compliant manner.
Finally, 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. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I’m sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures. As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act. Given our decades of experience selling firearms, we are also offering to serve as a resource in the national debate on responsible gun sales.
We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we’re going to continue doing so. Our founder, Sam Walton, was an avid outdoorsman who had a passion for quail hunting, and we’re headquartered in a state known for its duck hunting and deer hunting. My family raised bird dogs when I was growing up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and I’m a gun owner myself. We understand that heritage, our deeply rooted place in America and our influence as the world’s largest retailer. And we understand the responsibility that comes with it. We want what’s best for our customers, our associates and our communities. In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable.