EPHRATA - Ammo is apparently flying off the shelves at the Ephrata Walmart after it was announced that the big retailer would stop selling pistol and short-barrel rifle bullets, event where state laws allow it.
The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas. The call to clear the shelves of certain types of ammo also comes weeks after a shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart that took the lives of 22 people.
iFIBER ONE News spoke to a store associate at the Ephrata Walmart who says the store is going to continue to sell any pistol and short-barrel rifle ammunition currently in stock and ammo that is currently in transit to the location for sale.
“We’re selling through it like crazy,” said the store employee.
iFIBER ONE News also received confirmation that the same is happening at the Othello Walmart. iFIBER ONE News also tried to reach out to the Wenatchee Walmart but could not get confirmation. However, it's assumed that all Walmarts will cease sales of ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 millimeter bullets used in military style weapons.
The big-box retailer also announced that it is going to discourage anyone with a concealed carry permit from bringing a gun into the store unless they’re law enforcement. The store says it plans to put out signs discouraging people from bringing firearms inside.
A number of gun control activists praised Walmart’s moves, while gun manufacturers such as Vista Outdoors and Smith & Wesson parent company American Outdoor Brands Corp. saw their shares fall.
Other companies have responded to public pressure to restrict gun sales. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in March it would stop selling firearms and ammunition at 125 of its 700-plus locations. Kroger’s said last year that it would stop selling firearms and ammunition at its Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest. Kroger joined Walmart Tuesday in asking customers not to openly carry their guns when they visit its stores.
Walmart and Kroger joins a string of other retailers and restaurants including Starbucks, Target and Wendy’s in asking customers not to openly carry their guns when they visit their premises. But they are not enforcing an outright ban because they don’t want to put their employees in confrontational situations.