Walmart will no longer be selling AR-15 rifles, or any other rifles the company has classified as modern sporting rifles, in its stores. The massive retail chain will now be selling out its remaining inventory—in some cases at a discounted price—and once the stock is gone, customers will no longer be able to purchase these types of rifles from the chain. Walmart spokespeople have clarified that the company will also be dropping some types of shotguns and other “high capacity” rifles as well.
According to Senior Director for Corporate Communications Kory Lundberg, the move was the result of a business decision rather than a political one.
“Early this spring we made the decision to no longer carrying those items and instead focus on other hunting and sportsman firearms such as shotguns and rifles based on customer demand,” he told OutdoorHub in an email. “Our merchandising decisions are driven by largely customer demand. In our everyday course of doing business, we are continually reviewing and adjusting our product assortment to meet our customers’ needs.”
AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles are sold in less than a third of Walmart stores and have allegedly been lagging behind in sales during recent months. Walmart claims to have an easier time moving bolt-action rifles, shotguns, lever-action rifles, and other firearms.
“In order to expand our offerings of traditional guns we had to make more space and discontinue guns that were not selling. This is really about providing our customers with what they want to purchase,” a company representative told The Firearm Blog.
There have also been reports of steep discounts on the few remaining AR-15s in Walmart stores. Although many Walmart locations that stocked these items sold out long ago, a few stores are now dropping prices by more than 50 percent in an attempt to empty their inventory.
“We were told that we would have a shipment coming in of ARs that were not selling in other states, to sell them at the half price mark here,” an anonymous Kentucky Walmart manager told The Truth About Guns. “Other firearms such as ‘hi cap’ shotguns, even Ruger 10/22s with the synthetic stock, went half off as well. The wood stock Ruger and Take down model stayed regular price. Certain hunting shotguns also went half off. The $890 Remington Versa Max was sold at half price for example. H&R pump actions from near $200 were $89.”
The current AR-15 for sale at Walmart have been reported to be as low as $250 and Lundberg did confirm that some stores are still offering steep discounts. The spokesman also stated that accessories and ammunition for the discontinued firearms will still be sold.