Walmart announced Wednesday it is raising the minimum age for sales of firearms and ammunition to 21 years old. The move comes shortly after Dick’s Sporting Goods, the chain that legally sold a gun to Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, though not the weapon used in the mass shooting*, said it would raise the age requirement on rifles from 18 to 21. Walmart and Dick’s, two of the largest gun retailers in the country, both cited the recent school shooting as the reason for the change.
“We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” Walmart said in a statement. “The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.”
Walmart sells rifles and shotguns, but does not sell handguns, bump stocks, high-capacity magazines or “modern sporting rifles,” like the AR-15, which it stopped carrying in 2015. Walmart also said it is “removing items from [its] website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys.” “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 company said.
Correction, March 2, 2018: This post originally misstated that Dick’s Sporting Goods sold the gun used in the Parkland shooting. The company sold a gun to the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, but it was not the one used in the school shooting.