CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar asked legal gun owners what they think about it Wednesday.
“I stopped on my lunch break today because I heard that they were going to stop selling ammunition, and I picked up a few boxes of handgun ammunition and some 12-gauge,” said one man we’ll call Dave.
Dave will soon have to find somewhere other than Walmart for his handgun ammo. America’s largest retailer will no longer sell handgun ammunition.
The company reacted after more than 20 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas early last month, along with mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and most recently in Odessa, Texas
“There’s always a way around certain things,” Dave said. “and, you know, people want to go do a mass shooting, you know, they don’t have to go to Walmart to buy their ammo.”
Tom Dorsch of On Target range in Crystal Lake agreed.
“Unfortunately, it won’t change a damn thing,” he said. “Bad guys are going to find a way to get guns and ammo every time.”
Dorsch said the move will force legal gun owners elsewhere for their ammo, and also fears it won’t prevent future shootings.
“All it’s going to do is create another hurdle for the lawful and just empower the lawless,” he said.
Walmart is now also “respectfully requesting” customers to no longer openly carry firearms in states where it is allowed. Illinois is not one of those states.
That decision was influenced by a number of gun related incidents.
Just this week in Hobart, Indiana, an off-duty East Chicago police detective was shopping with his wife and family at Walmart and stepped in after an isolated shooting in the store.
“It took, I’d say, 20 seconds before you hear people start screaming, and then they start stampeding towards the exits,” said Detective Bill Johnsen.
In June, a domestic dispute about the custody exchange of a child led to shots in the parking lot of a Rolling Meadows Walmart.
And in Missouri last month, a man wearing body armor carrying a rifle and a handgun causing panic after walking into a Walmart – no shots were fired. The man charged in that case – Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20 – said he was trying to test his constitutional right to bear arms.
Back at the range, Dorsch said Walmart needed to do something, but stressed that taking ammo off the shelves was not the answer.
“If the policy was made to curtail gun violence in the country, it won’t help,” Dorsch said.
Walmart will still carry ammunition for hunting rifles. The company estimates the decision to remove handgun ammunition will reduce their market share on ammo from 20 percent to around 6 to 9 percent.
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