The decision comes as lawmakers across the country reckon with a powerful grassroots movement to ban the sale of assault rifles and introduce stricter gun safety laws. That effort is helmed by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed by a former student with an AR-15 on Valentine’s Day.
“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. 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,” the statement reads.
The company also announced that it is removing items from its website that resemble assault-style rifles, like airsoft guns. “Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way,” it concludes.
Walmart stopped selling “modern sporting rifles” like the AR-15 in 2015, the company also said, and does not sell bump stocks or high capacity magazines.