As civil protests have spread throughout the country over the last week, with some of the gatherings involving looting and violent behavior, some stores are taking action to protect themselves and their patrons.
Walmart for example has removed firearms and ammunition from some of its sales floors, to ensure that the goods will not fall into the wrong hands, and potentially be used to hurt others in the protests.
The retailer behemoth said the items are still available, but now are either being maintained in a more secure space or have been removed from the facility entirely.
“As a responsible seller of hunting and sporting firearms, we have temporarily removed firearms and ammunition from the sales floor in some stores out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon spoke at the company’s new virtual annual shareholders meeting, stating that some locations have also been marred or looted, but said, “it’s not very many stores as a percent of the total.”
Walmart stock lost 0.23% amid the comments, while much of the stock market charged higher Wednesday, following better-than-expected ADP data, and general optimism over reopening the economy. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP), which has a nearly 10% allocation of Walmart closed traded higher on the day, however.
While many Americans remain melancholy and agitated over the recent incidents, there is an ongoing debate over the best course of action, and whether active-duty troops should be participating in crowd containment efforts.
President Trump remarked on Twitter, “New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all other forms of Lowlife & Scum,” Trump tweeted. “The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard.”
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he is not in favor of utilizing the Insurrection Act, a law from 1807 that would allow President Donald Trump to deploy active-duty U.S. troops to handle civil unrest.
“I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” Esper said. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” he added.
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