Walmart CEO implores Congress to ‘do their part’ to stop gun violence
The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer says it’s time for Congress to act on gun control.
The CEO of Walmart sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday demanding lawmakers “do their part.” It comes one month after a gunman killed more than 20 people in a mass shooting at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas.
The letter echoes a blog post CEO Doug McMillon made on August 15 calling for reform. However, the wording of this call to action is a little more urgent.
“We believe we have been doing our part to make the country safer,” McMillon said in the letter, which he addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“But Congress and the Administration need to do their part as well,” McMillon said.
He noted there were “multiple bills before the House and Senate that address the issue of gun safety,” and that they “are worth examining.”
The company specifically cited stronger background checks, removing weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger, and said that its worth debating “the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban.”
“We believe it is time for action on these common sense measures,” he writes.
A package is being discussed
The Trump administration is preparing a package of legislative measures responding to a spate of recent mass shootings, aides said Monday, even as White House and congressional staffs remain far apart on the best path forward.
The package will include legislation that would expedite the death penalty for people found guilty of mass killings, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff told reporters.
But it’s unlikely to include new provisions expanding background checks on gun sales after President Donald Trump backed off support for such steps following outcry from the National Rifle Association and warnings about the political consequences.
White House and Senate staff continue to discuss gun control measures, an administration official said following Saturday’s shooting, but consensus hasn’t been reached on areas to move forward. The official described the talks — which have including both Republican and Democratic aides — as productive, and said all sides seem clear that something should get done when Congress returns later this month.
New gun policies in-store
The retail giant outlined its own reform for its stores when it comes to firearms in both a letter to lawmakers and store employees.
Reforms include completely eliminating the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition. Walmart will also discontinue the sale of short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used in military style weapons as well as hunting rifles, it announced.
Walmart also said it will add measures to increase security in its stores, which will include stopping people from openly carrying guns in its stores, even in states where so-called “open carry” is allowed.
“In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again,” he said. “The status quo is unacceptable.”
The announcement earned the company a rebuke from the National Rifle Association, which said in a tweet, “It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites.”
Read the full letter
With reporting from CNN’s Kevin Liptak