Walmart faces harsh criticism after someone spotted a rifle display decorated with a “Back to School” sign, took a picture, and posted it to social media.
Numerous Twitter users blasted Walmart with comments after user Ismail Kidd Noorzai posted the picture in question. The sign stated “Own the school year like a hero” and it was placed directly above a gun case containing numerous rifles for sale to the general public. Activists and concerned Twitter users blew a fuse faster than you can say “lower prices,” and didn’t hesitate to state their opinion and direct questions to Walmart’s account.
The caption of the photo is “Oh @Walmart” and includes an emoji relevant to the wording and promotes a “oh goodness” thought upon seeing the sign.
As per the Sacramento Bee, the sign was falsely reported to be located in store No. 1,341 of Evansville, Indiana. However, Ismail Kidd Noorzai’s Twitter account identifies him as a resident of Los Angeles. In a moderately contradictory way, Walmart has admitted it is looking into how it happened, and said it would never approve of such sign placement. The sign was likely the result of a prankster and not endorsed by Walmart.
Walmart has called the sign placement a “regrettable situation” in replies to irritated customers, but that has not changed its stance on the continuance of rifle sales.
“Walmart sells guns in 1,700 to 1,800 of its 4,000 stores in the U.S. and is likely the single biggest firearms seller in the country. Previously, the company had cut back on the number of locations where guns are available, before reversing that decision in 2011,” per the Wall Street Journal.
The “regrettable situation” has reignited the gun sales controversy in which activists clamored for Walmart to cease gun sales. Activists and angry customers often cite references to school shootings and various violent crimes in hopes that Walmart will no longer sell guns. This activism dates back to the early 90s where Walmart responded, in 1993, by ceasing to sell handguns. The retail giant continues to sell rifles. The rifles are often used for hunting or shooting sports such as the events in the ISSF shooting category. There’s also at least three events in the Olympics that judge a shooter’s ability to accurately fire upon targets from various distances.
Walmart is reported to be one of the largest gun retailers in the country.