Walmart announced that it has removed guns and ammunition from store shelves in preparation for potential violent unrest following next week’s presidential election.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” Walmart said in a statement. “These items do remain available for purchase by customers.”
The retailer previously removed weapons and ammunition during the Black Lives Matter riots that followed the death of George Floyd earlier this year.
The decision may also have been motivated by fresh riots in Philadelphia this week, during which numerous stores were looted, including a branch of Walmart.
Walmart only sells firearms and ammo in around half of its stores and stopped selling ammunition that can be used in semiautomatic rifles and pistols after the 2019 El Paso shooting.
Businesses across the country are also boarding up storefronts in preparation for angry clashes, which may intensify if the actual election result isn’t announced for a period of days or weeks.
“If we don’t have a clear winner, things could get ugly,” reports Forbes.
“Since we’ve witnessed months of mayhem, riots and civil unrest in large U.S. cities, it’s reasonable to conclude that we’ll have a frightening level of violence, destruction and unrest after the election. Both sides may claim victory, which could lead to actions that we don’t want to even consider, as it would rip apart the country.”
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