Walmart Is Selling Guns again.
As recently as August 2015, Walmart stopped selling guns such as AR-15s and other assault rifles. Despite the general approval from the public for the move, Walmart has failed to meet investor expectations as the Bentonville, ARK.-based retailer reported disappointing earnings early in the second quarter.
For the first quarter 2016, the retailer reported revenues of $114.8 billion, down slightly from $115 billion during the same quarter last year.
Clamoring to shore up falling share prices and compete against online sellers, the retail giant announced earlier this week that it plans to return to selling assault rifles and handguns as part of its back-to-school campaign at the end of this summer.
“Early second quarter results are flat,” said a Walmart spokeswoman in a press conference to reporters, “Slow earnings may force Walmart to rely heavily on fourth quarter sales. It’s time to go back to what works. Guns and glue.”
The back-t0-school season bolsters Q3 sales for the retailer and is expected to continue to do so. Many analysts believe that by reintroducing weaponry, Walmart will drive consumers into stores where they are likely to make purchases they may have not made shopping online.
In a recent statement, Walmart said, “Crazy, white gun-nuts are our bread and butter. And, right now, they are buying their weapons elsewhere and while they’re there, they’re picking up glue sticks, TI-83 calculators and #2 pencils for their kids. We feel that this is a perfect time to recapture the business Walmart is losing to competitors.”
This move comes in the face of rising occurrences of mass shootings and gun-related deaths particularly with school-aged children throughout the US. Walmart, however, sees the promotion as an opportunity.
Some gun advocates are rejoicing that they now have another resource to make gun purchases. “Walmart returning to selling guns is a blessing,” Tim Watts of Shreveport, LA explained, “Sure, I can buy from any one of a litany of local gun shops or from many online gun auctions or at one of the dozen or so gun shows that roll through town each month or from one of the hundreds of big box stores like Cabela’s or even from the gang of hoods on the street corner if I had to, but I like to have more options.”
Walmart’s initial decision to stop the sale of firearms was met with backlash from second amendment supporters. “They are trying to take our guns and our rights,” NRA member Allison Garrett said, “Guns don’t kill people. People die all the time.
Firearm sales at Walmart seek to increase stock prices and gun-related deaths by 1-2 percent.