Business

Dick’s isn’t the only retail giant making big changes to its gun sales policies

Walmart announced Wednesday it is raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age.
Walmart announced Wednesday it is raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. Associated Press

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it will stop selling assault-style weapons Wednesday morning. The sporting retail store will also stop selling high-capacity magazines and will raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21.

While Walmart already adopted the first two changes back in 2015, the mega-retailer announced Wednesday evening it is raising the age restriction for purchasing firearms and ammunition to 21.

“In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales,” the company said in a release, referring to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

The release said it will process the change as quickly as possible.

“We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” the release said. “The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.”

Walmart also announced it will stop selling items that resemble assault-style rifles, such as toys and non-lethal airsoft guns.

“Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way,” Walmart said.

In 2015, Walmart stopped selling modern sporting rifles, like the AR-15. The retailer also doesn’t sell handguns, except in Alaska, along with bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories.

President Trump urged Congress on Wednesday to consider increasing the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21.

“This is not a popular thing to say in terms of the NRA, but I’m going to have to say it. ... I think it’s something you have to think about,” The Hill reported.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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