Walmart Will Raise the Minimum Age for Gun Purchases to 21 Years Old

The retailer joins Dick’s Sporting Goods in responding to the Parkland massacre.

Dean Pictures/Newscom/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Wednesday night, Walmart announced that it would stop selling firearms and ammunition to people under 21 years old, joining Dick’s Sporting Goods in taking public action over its gun sales policy in response to the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales,” the retail conglomerate noted in a statement. “Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age.”

“Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way,” the statement concludes. The new policies will be implemented “as quickly as possible.”

The company’s decision comes the same day that Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack announced the sports retailer would stop selling firearms to people under 21 years old and assault-style rifles altogether. Dick’s had already ended the sale of assault rifles after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 but kept selling the firearm in certain locations.

Walmart, meanwhile, ended the sale of “modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15″—the kind of gun that was used in Parkland—in 2015, citing declining demand at the time, and reiterated in its statement Wednesday that it does not sell “bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories.” 

The retailers’ decisions mark the latest public stand that corporations have made in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. A barrage of companies, including Delta Air Lines and Hertz, ended their relationships with the National Rifle Association in the past week. The moves also mirror a call for raising the minimum age for firearm purchases at the federal level, a move President Donald Trump said he supported on Wednesday, standing in contrast to the National Rifle Association.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest