Walmart is taking steps to tamp down the depiction of violence in its stores following the deadly Saturday shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, which took the lives of at least 22 people and injured dozens more.
According to an internal memo shared on social media, the company is temporarily pulling violent video game displays from its stores.
What are the details?
Walmart stores received an internal memo requesting all “violent images” or “aggressive behavior” be removed from their sales floors.
USA Today confirmed the memo’s authenticity with a Walmart representative on Thursday after the missive ended up making the rounds on social media.
A spokesperson for the company said, “We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment.”
A portion of the internal memo reads, “Review your store for any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior. Remove from sales floor or turn off these items immediately.
“Use your best judgment when determining whether an element is appropriate,” the memo continued. “IF you are unsure, remove the items or turn it off as a precautionary measure.”
Many consumers have been calling on the retail giant to remove guns from its stores in the wake of dual deadly mass killings that took place over the weekend. The company insisted that its policy on selling firearms is not changing, however.
Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said, “There’s been no change in policy.”
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon also issued a note to store employees promising “thoughtful and deliberate” responses to such tragedies.
“We are a learning organization, and, as you can imagine, we will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence,” McMillon’s statement said. “We’ll be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and we will act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals of our company, with a focus on serving the needs of our customers, associates, and communities.”
The company, which is the biggest retailer of firearms in the U.S., raised the age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 years old in 2018.