Walmart has taken a forceful step into the national gun debate. The country's largest retailer announced it will stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition when the inventory runs out. Walmart is also requesting customers don't openly carry guns in its stores, and is calling on Congress to increase background checks and consider a new assault rifle ban.
The announcement comes one month after a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A few days earlier, two employees were killed at a Walmart in Mississippi by a disgruntled colleague. "We are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable," Walmart's chief executive, Doug McMillon, said in the statement.
Many Democrats are applauding the decision, while supporters of gun rights are firing back. "It is 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. The truth is Walmart's actions today will not make us any safer," the National Rifle Association wrote in a statement.
Meantime, new information has surfaced about the shooting in the massacre in Odessa, Texas on Saturday. Officials say the shooter bought the AR-15 style rifle through a private sale to evade a federal background check. He failed a background check in 2014 for mental health issues.
Congress is back from summer recess on Monday, and new gun legislation will take center stage. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he will only bring a gun control bill to the senate floor if he's guaranteed President Trump will sign it. "If the president took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I'd be happy to put it on the floor. And the administration is in the process of studying what they're prepared to support, if anything, and I expect to get an answer to that next week," McConnell told conservative talk show radio host Hugh Hewitt.