U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- A stop at the local Walmart on 3 June, 2020, revealed an empty gun display. No guns were inside the locked display. There were no cartridges available, other than shotgun bird shot.
Walmart had been trending toward gradual elimination of guns from its inventory for years, ever since the death of the founder, Sam Walton, in 1992.
Sam discouraged merchandise which was not made in the USA. Sam insisted each store carry firearms, including handguns. When Sam was not there to enforce those policies, the leftists who took over the company used each new “crisis” to remove firearms and ammunition from the store.
In the 1990s, Walmart stopped selling handguns in all its stores, except in Alaska. In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles.
On September 3, 2019, Walmart announced it would no longer sell handguns in Alaska, handgun ammunition in all stores, or the nebulously defined “assault weapons”.
Two Walmart associates at the store said the firearms had been removed from the display because of national concerns over riots.
This policy was confirmed with articles in several outlets. From chainstoreage.com:
The retailer giant has removed firearms and ammunition from the sales floor of some stores as protests continue across the nation against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, every other shop in the tourist and dairy farm area where I grew up in Northern Wisconsin, carried guns and ammunition. Every bait shop, hardware store, most service stations, and many other shops carried guns. Guns were available through the mail, although handguns had to be delivered by private carrier instead of the post office. As a teen, I had no difficulty purchasing ammunition at the local gas station.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 changed all that. Almost overnight, guns disappeared from most small outlets, because of the cost and record-keeping requirements built into the 1968 law.
The crime rate soared. Homicides peaked in the 1980s and 1990s. Murders of police officers while on duty, peaked in the 1970s. The average number of police murdered in the line of duty, from 1970 to 1980, was 112 officers per year. That number had dropped below 50 a year, until President Obama and his support for racial organizations such as Black Lives Matter, ramped up hatred of the police.
The law was meant as a precursor to handgun registration. It failed. It did not reduce homicides or murders, even with guns. It should be repealed as an affront to the Second Amendment.
The unintended consequences were profound. An awakened membership changed out the old guard leadership of the NRA, in 1977. The NRA moved its primary mission from training to preserving the right to keep and bear arms. Training doesn’t do much good if you do not have guns to train with.
Concealed carry permit laws, both shall issue and Constitutional carry, proliferated as gun owners lobbied for the restoration of their rights. The homicide rate dropped. People legally carrying guns were shown to be extremely law-abiding.
The lack of other shops carrying guns and ammunition created the proliferation of the independent, dedicated gun shop. The dedicated shops became nexus of information, voter registration, training, and support for the Second Amendment.
Gun shows proliferated. At the shows, gun owners could meet, trade guns, ammunition, and information. They became another nexus of activism and resolve to restore a Second Amendment under near-constant attack. Almost no criminals get guns from gun shows. Gun shows are under attack because they are a center of political activism. My good friend, Alan Korwin, built his business at gun shows selling his highly successful line of books on gun laws.
Walmart will likely stop selling nearly all guns and ammunition in the United States. It will backfire.
Many dedicated gun shop owners have said they cannot compete with Walmart. Now they will not have to do so.
Guns and the right to bear arms are extremely popular in the United States. With the lawless destruction of property and lives in many leftwing cities and states, they are both becoming more popular than ever.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.