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Walmart CEO Responds To Employee’s Petition To Stop Selling Guns

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Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has responded to a petition calling on his company to stop selling guns in the wake of two mass shootings at the retailer’s stores. Walk Out After the death of 22 people in a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart earlier this month, as well as a concurrent shooting in Dayton, Ohio, there has been renewed calls for Walmart to stop selling guns. Thomas Marshall, a Walmart e-commerce employee based in San Bruno, California, recently organized a walk out of 30 employees to protest the company’s continued sale of firearms, and he also organized a petition that earned more than 129,000 signatures, which he e-mailed to McMillon with a plea: "Customers no longer feel as safe as they once did in our stores. We must do more. We have the power to do more." The petition asks Walmart to stop selling guns and ammunition, ban people from carrying guns onto company property, and also to cease donating to politicians who accept money from the National Rifle Association. Reply All McMillon responded to the petition and e-mail, saying he appreciates that he and the other signees care about safety. He said that sales and profit “are not driving our decisions here,” and that the company is considering additional steps to react to the mass shooting epidemic. It might not surprise you to learn he didn’t promise to ban the sale of guns in his stores. Do Something Initially, McMillon expressed his grief and shock in response to the mass shootings, but that wasn’t enough for a lot of people, as Walmart has so far declined to stop selling guns altogether, though the retailer did stop selling handguns in 1993, military-style semi-automatic rifles in 2015, and, following the Parkland, Florida mass-shooting last year, announced it would raise the minimum age to purchase guns and ammunition in its stores from 18 to 21. But many critics think the company needs to do more, and the petition is being seen as yet more proof that the public is increasingly calling on business leaders to address the social problems that lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle, as President Donald Trump has again backed away from promises to pass gun reform following pressure from the National Rifle Association. -Michael Tedder Photo: Rick Wilking / REUTERS