Walmart Bans Open Carry; More Stores Should Follow

By: Ryan Chapman, Editor-in-Chief

Earlier this month, Walmart announced it would cease the sale of all handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition. 

The retailer also announced customers would no longer be able to openly carry any firearms in stores, though customers are still allowed to carry firearms if the customer has a concealed carry permit or if purchasing a gun at the store and leaving. 

Walmart’s decision comes on the heels of summer which saw two shootings in Walmart stores, one at a Walmart location in Mississippi in July, and the other on location in El Paso, Texas in August. 

The retailer’s decision predictably was met with criticism from the National Rifle Association in a statement on Twitter on Sept. 3. 

“Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms,” the NRA said.

The NRA’s reaction is perplexing for that exact quote, though. 

Walmart is not restricting the rights of American citizens by halting the sale of ammunition or by not allowing them to carry in their stores without a permit. In fact, they are actually participating in one of America’s other hallmarks – capitalism.  

If citizens feels wronged by Walmart, just as the NRA said, they are free to take their business elsewhere.

Walmart is risking losing potential business in an effort to help their employees and customers feel safe, and Walmart brass is aware of that.

The risk Walmart is taking is capitalism, plain and simple. 

Taking things a step further, by asking customers to only bring firearms on the premises if they have a concealed carry permit is a common sense safety practice that should be implemented across more businesses nationwide.

Again, Walmart is not telling customers they cannot have weapons, nor is it taking weapons away from anyone. 

The retailer is simply asking that gun owners only bring their firearms with them if they have an official permit and that they buy certain ammunition elsewhere.

Many states require citizens to pass one gun safety class as a part of their concealed carry certification process. 

Oklahoma requires a concealed carry applicant to complete a National Instant Background Check System background check, as well as completing a firearms safety course or applying for and receiving a safety course exemption. 

This licensing requirement is no different than taking a driving test to lawfully operate a motor vehicle.

The National Safety Council estimates that 40,100 people died in car crashes in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in the same year, there were almost 15,000 gun related deaths.

It is not unreasonable to require a similar demonstration of basic safety knowledge for guns as we require teenagers to show for driving. 

Yet, there is hardly any outrage when Americans are required to pass a driving test.

There are no shouts of rights being infringed upon, or that the government intends to take away everyone’s car. 

Asking Americans to obtain the proper certification to carry firearms in public is not an infringement on rights. 

It is a common sense measure aimed to increase public safety, which impacts every single person who steps into a Walmart location, and that is a cause every American can get behind.

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