Image copyright Image Pictorial Image caption Smith & Wesson’s M&P-15 and 6-round magazines remain on display in a Walmart in Tampa, Florida, on Monday.
In the latest twist to the national debate on guns, Walmart – the largest gun retailer in the United States – reversed its decision to stop selling ammunition and guns on display in its stores.
The retailer cited “volatility” in the market for ammunition and a “markedly higher number of requests” for guns.
The change follows a nationwide boycott of the chain by activists after it removed the sale of certain firearms from its shelves following the Parkland school shooting in Florida.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thousands of people gathered in California to march for stricter gun laws in 2017.
Walmart said it was re-assessing the issue as gun sales and transfers had dropped since it had removed certain items, including assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, from its website following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
“We heard from our customers, who said they wanted some of this inventory back,” the company said in a statement.
“The vast majority of customers do not want guns and ammunition displayed on shelves near everyday essentials such as bread, milk and toilet paper.”
Protestors rally against the retail giant in February 2018
An association representing gun dealers said Walmart had been wrong to ban the sale of the most controversial firearms.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation said its members had been “disappointed” with the decision.
In response to the change of policy, Walmart said it was “working closely with our suppliers to make sure they have what they need to support our customers’ hunting and recreational shooting activities”.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Police officers carry guns at the Florida school shooting in February